Action needed to curb drink-related illness

Alcohol

NHS figures reveal problem drinking has merely stagnated, not improved  

20th November 2019 by Robert Armour 0 Comments

More action to control availability and restrict marketing of alcohol is needed to turn the tide of drink-related illness in Scotland.

Alcohol Focus Scotland made the call as new figures from the NHS show the overall level of hospitalisations in 2018/19 have stagnated.

There were 38,370 admissions to both general and psychiatric hospitals in 2018/19; the previous year the figure was 38,199.   

Alison Douglas, chief executive of Alcohol Focus Scotland, said, “It’s disappointing that the overall level of hospitalisations in 2018/19 has remained similar to the previous year. However, beneath the headline figure there are indications that both the number of admissions and the number of people admitted due to alcoholic liver disease have decreased.

“The report published in June this year showed that consumption had reduced by 3% in 2018. This gives cause for optimism that minimum unit pricing appears to be having an effect on consumption and this should translate into improvements in health and well-being going forward.

“Given the very high levels of consumption and associated problems in Scotland we need to continue our efforts to turn the tide of alcohol related harm. 

“Action to control availability and restrict marketing are also required if we are to change Scotland’s relationship with alcohol for good.”