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Alcohol Harms in Scotland
Tackling Scotland's Alcohol Problem

ALCOHOL HARMS IN SCOTLAND

Alcohol-specific deaths

 

 

 

  •  There were 1,276 alcohol-specific deaths registered in Scotland in 2022, an increase of 2% (31 deaths) on 2021.
  • Female deaths increased by 31 to 440 deaths in 2022, with the number of alcohol-specific male deaths unchanged from 2021. Male deaths continue to account for around two thirds of alcohol-specific deaths.
  • The rate of mortality for alcohol-specific deaths was 22.9 deaths per 100,000 people in 2022, similar to the rate of 22.3 per 100,000 people in 2021 (the increase is not statistically significant). This measure takes into account the size and age-structure of the population.
  • After adjusting for age, the alcohol-specific mortality rate was higher than the Scottish average in the health board areas of Western Isles, Greater Glasgow and Clyde, and Lanarkshire.
  • Alcohol-specific deaths were 4.3 times as high in the most deprived areas of Scotland compared to the least deprived areas in 2022. This compares to a ratio of 1.8 times for all causes of death. Over time, this ratio has generally decreased (from a high 8.9 in 2002 to a low of 4.3 in 2022).

 

Source: Alcohol-specific deaths 2022, National Records of Scotland. 

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Alcohol-related hospital admissions

 

  • In 2020/21 there were 33,015 alcohol-related hospital stays in general acute hospitals. This is equivalent to an age-sex standardised rate of 614 inpatient stays per 100,000 population.
  • In 2020/21, rates of alcohol-related hospital stays in Scotland were 2.3 times higher among men (851 per 100,000 population) than women (376 per 100,000 population).
  • Rates also differ by age: in 2020/21, the 55–64 year age group had the highest rate of alcohol-related hospital stays at 993 per 100,000 population.
  • In 2020/21, rates of alcohol-related stays were eight times higher in the 10% most deprived areas in Scotland than in the 10% least deprived areas.
  • In total 21,480 people were admitted to a general acute hospital with an alcohol-related diagnosis in 2020/21, meaning that some people had more than one admission in the year.

 

Source: The Monitoring and Evaluating Scotland's Alcohol Strategy (MESAS) monitoring report 2022.

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Alcohol Harm Profiles

Problematic alcohol use has been estimated to cost the Scottish economy £3.56 billion each year. Local alcohol harm profiles detail alcohol-related measurable health trends in NHS Scotland Health Boards. Alcohol harm can affect not only individual health but also family life and public safety.

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