- Alcohol kills six people in Scotland every day.
- You are twice as likely to die of an alcohol-related health problem in Scotland than in the rest of the UK.
- The number of people diagnosed with alcoholic liver disease has increased by 52% since 1998.
- Emergency departments in Scotland deal with over 70 alcohol-related assaults every day.
- One in six deaths on Scotland’s roads is caused by drink driving.
- Alcohol is a contributory factor in over half of deaths in fires in Scotland.
- Alcohol-related problems are estimated to cost Scotland over £2 billion every year.
- 44% of men and 36% of women in Scotland exceed the recommended daily limits of alcohol consumption.
Diseases linked to alcohol
Alcohol is a dependence-inducing, psychoactive drug which is linked to around 60 different diseases and conditions. Average alcohol consumption is causally related to the following major diseases:
- mouth, nasopharynx, other pharynx and oropharynx cancer
- oesophageal cancer
- colon and rectum cancer
- liver cancer
- female breast cancer
- diabetes mellitus
- alcohol use disorders
- unipolar depressive disorders
- hypertensive heart disease
- ischaemic heart disease (IHD)
- ischaemic and haemorrhagic stroke
- conduction disorders and other dysrhythmias
- lower respiratory infections (pneumonia)
- cirrhosis of the liver
- preterm birth complications and feotal alcohol syndrome.
For most conditions in which alcohol is a factor, there is a dose dependent relationship. That is, the more alcohol is consumed, the greater the risk of alcohol-related health harm.
There is no guaranteed safe level of alcohol consumption. Government guidelines recommend daily limits of alcohol consumption that carry a low risk of health damage.
For more information on the impact of alcohol on health, down SHAAP's factsheet Alcohol & Health.