Alcohol-related deaths fall by 13% in Scotland28th August, 2013 by Andy Young
The number of people dying from alcohol-related diseases in Scotland has fallen by 13%, to its lowest level since 1997.
In 2012 a total of 1,080 people died from an alcohol-related illness, compared to 1,247 in 2011 although this figure is still nearly twice as high as during the 1980s.
The figures, released by the General Register Office for Scotland, show that the 1,080 deaths in 2012 consisted of 741 men and 339 women. There were 420 alcohol-related deaths of people aged 45-59, 394 deaths of 60-74 year olds and 145 deaths of people who were 30-44.
Scottish health minister Alex Neil told the Herald Scotland: “For too long, too many Scots have been drinking themselves into an early grave and we are looking to take bold measures to address alcohol misuse in Scotland.
“As part of a range of measures, minimum pricing is an effective way to reduce consumption and the harm that overuse of alcohol does.
“What all these figures show is that by encouraging people to live healthier lives, eat better, be more active, stop smoking and drink sensibly, it can have a positive impact on their health and leads to a longer life.”
In commenting on the results the Wines and Spirits Trades Association chief executive, Miles Beale, told the drinks business: “While alcohol-related deaths in Scotland remain too high these latest statistics demonstrate that positive progress is being made. Coupled with the continuing fall in consumption, down 8% since 2009, it calls into question the need for minimum unit pricing, which at 50p was predicted to achieve a 5.7% drop in consumption. The Scottish Government should not be continuing to pursue this unfair, ineffective and probably illegal policy.”
Last week a report from NHS Health Scotland showed that the amount of alcohol sold in the country fell between 2011 and 2012 and that Scots have consumed 10 million fewer bottles of wine, three million bottles of spirits or 35 million pints of beer each year since 2009.