Alcohol deaths in Scotland jump 10 per cent in one year

Written by Nicholas Keyden on 2 August 2017 in News

National Records of Scotland reveal third highest annual increase in alcohol-related deaths in Scotland

Cheap vodka by Quinn Dombrowski

Alcohol-related deaths in Scotland have increased by 10 percent in one year, to their highest since 2010, according to a new report.

The figures, published by the National Records of Scotland this morning, show that 1,265 people died from drinking last year, a rise of 115 from 2015.

It is the third largest annual increase behind an 18 percent rise in 1996 and an 11 percent swell in 1999.


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Cases where alcohol played a part in accidents and suicides are not included in the figures.

Minimum unit pricing for alcohol, passed by parliament in 2012 has since been tied up in appeal courts amid a challenge from the drinks industry. Last week saw the case heard at the Supreme Court.

Alison Douglas, Chief Executive of Alcohol Focus Scotland, said: “It is tragic that 1,265 men and women in Scotland died because of alcohol last year; a 10 per cent increase on the previous year.

“Behind these appalling statistics are real people - sons, daughters, husbands, wives, parents, friends and colleagues – who have died too young because of a substance that’s cheap, widely available and constantly promoted.

“As well as minimum pricing, we need to see bold and proportionate action from the Scottish Government in its forthcoming alcohol strategy.”

Dr Peter Bennie, chair of the British Medical Association Scotland, said: “These latest figures showing a worrying increase in alcohol-related deaths last year make clear the scale of the damage caused by Scotland’s relationship with alcohol.

“It underlines why as a country we need to redouble our efforts to tackle the harms caused by alcohol misuse, and why we need the Scottish Government’s coming alcohol strategy refresh to include the kind of wide-ranging measures the BMA and other alcohol campaigners recently called for, including action on marketing and availability.

“Chief amongst these though is the need for minimum unit pricing, a policy that big alcohol producers have spent far too long delaying and trying to prevent and which must be implemented as swiftly as possible once the legal process finally ends.”

Males accounted for 867 deaths, while 398 women died from alcohol.

People between 45 and 59 suffered 503 fatalities, a fourth consecutive increase for the age group, while 468 60-74 year-olds lost their lives.

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