Reducing harm caused by alcohol

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Alcohol-specific deaths remain at very high levels

Figures published today by National Records of Scotland show 1,120 people died because of alcohol last year.

This was 19 (2%) fewer than in the previous year, but a larger number than in each of the four years from 2012 to 2015. The 1,120 alcohol-specific deaths in 2017 consisted of 789 male deaths and 331 female deaths.

Alcohol-specific deaths 2017.

Alison Douglas, Chief Executive of Alcohol Focus Scotland said:

“Alcohol-specific deaths remain at very high levels, and around three times higher than in the 1980s. Each represents a life cut tragically short and many more lives scarred by loss. All alcohol-related deaths are preventable and we should not be seeing these high numbers.

“Minimum unit pricing will save hundreds of lives, but everyone agrees it is not sufficient to turn the tide of alcohol harm. We also need clear and decisive measures by government to tackle the availability of alcohol, particularly in our poorest communities, as well as action to significantly reduce the amount of alcohol marketing in Scotland.”