Tackling Scotland's Alcohol Problem

An evaluation of the implementation of, and compliance with, the objectives of the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005’

15th November 2012
The second interim summary report from 'An evaluation of the implementation of, and compliance with, the objcetives of the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005'.

Scotland’s mental health: Adults 2012 October 2012 NHS Health Scotland October 2012

7th November 2012
Two indicators of mental health have worsened:
– possible alcohol dependency
– deaths from mental and behavioural disorders due to psychoactive substance use.

To improve Scotland’s mental health, priority should be given to the three indicators where there is solid evidence of worsening over the last decade or so: psychoactive substance-related deaths, alcohol dependency and manager support at work. The trends for deaths from mental and behavioural disorders due to psychoactive substance use and alcohol dependency are of particular concern.

Homicide in Scotland, 2011-12

6th November 2012
Over two thirds, 68%, of the total of 124 persons accused in homicide cases in 2011-12 were reported to have been drunk and/or under the influence of drugs at the time of the homicide. Of these 124, 72 (58%) were drunk, 5 (4%) were on drugs, and 7 (6%) were both drunk and on drugs.

In 2011-12, three quarters of cases where the main accused was drunk and/or on drugs, the victim was also known to have been drunk and/or on drugs. Where the main motive for a homicide was a rage or fight, 93% of the main accused for whom the drink/drug status was known, were drunk and/or on drugs. In 84% of cases where the main accused was drunk and/or on drugs the victim was also drunk and/or on drugs at the time the homicide took place.

Scottish Health Survey Topic Report: Equality Groups (Scottish Government Publication 30th October 2012)

30th October 2012
Scottish Health Survey Topic Report: Equality Groups
The report includes data on health behaviours and health characteristics broken down by the following equality groups: gender, age, ethnic group, religion, disability and sexual orientation.

By combining survey data from four consecutive years (2008-2011), more in-depth analysis of minority groups with small populations is possible. This report represents an important step forward in the availability of data on equality groups in Scotland.

The key points in relation to alcohol consumption are that:
• Men were more likely than women to drink at hazardous or harmful levels and to exceed the daily recommended alcohol units.
• Weekly alcohol consumption generally decreased with age, with 16-24 year olds consuming the most. The proportion exceeding daily limits was similar between the ages of 16 to 54 before declining for older groups.
• Pakistani, Chinese, Other Asian, and African, Caribbean or Black respondents were all significantly less likely to drink at hazardous or harmful levels than the national average.
• People who belonged to no religious group were most likely to drink excessively whilst Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists were the least likely religious groups to drink at hazardous or harmful levels.
• Respondents with a disability were less likely to drink excessively and to exceed daily limits than those who did not.
• Respondents who identified themselves as lesbian or gay were significantly more likely to drink at hazardous or harmful levels than the national average.

THE AMPHORA MANIFESTO ON ALCOHOL (Alcohol Public Health Research Alliance) 29th October 2012

30th October 2012

The final conference of the AMPHORA research project was held with the Swedish Medical Society in Stockholm, on 17th-19th October. Among other things, the conference resulted in the publication of the AMPHORA Manifesto on Alcohol Policy, in which 71 scientists from 33 organizations from 14 European countries provide a base of understanding of alcohol policy and what it entails, encourage rethinking the dynamics of policymaking and the necessary actions across different levels and sectors of society.

Doctors and health campaigners say new research from Canada provides further evidence that minimum pricing will work in Scotland Canadian expert describes Scottish policy as the public health ideal

22nd October 2012

Doctors and health campaigners today welcomed new research from Canada which they say shows that minimum pricing has the potential to save lives and reduce harmful drinking in Scotland. The new Canadian research is published as the Scottish Government prepares to defend the introduction of minimum pricing in Scotland against a legal challenge brought by the world's biggest alcohol corporations. A petition by the Scotch Whisky Association to get minimum pricing legislation overturned by the court will be heard in Edinburgh next week.

National Parenting Strategy published 3/10/12

17th October 2012
The Scottish Government lauched a National Parenting Strategy earlier this month. This includes a commitment  to introduce  a 24-30 month review (in April 2013) for each child  which will not only look at the childs development but also at  wider parental health issues such as alcohol abuse, drug abuse and mental and physical health.

Substance use among 15-16 year olds in the UK: Key findings from the 2011 European School Survey Project on Alcohol and Other Drugs (ESPAD)

16th October 2012

The survey report shows that although period prevalence of alcohol use among 15-16 year olds in the UK has declined since 1995, heavy episodic drinking and subjective drunkenness has not. More girls than boys now report heavy drinking and drunkenness in the last 30 days and boys report experiencing more problems. Although the majority of pupils associate alcohol with experiencing positive outcomes, they also report experiencing a number of problems related to their own alcohol consumption in the last 12 months

Minimum pricing plans in Scotland shelved by ministers

15th October 2012
PLANS to introduce minimum pricing on alcohol in Scotland have been postponed indefinitely by ministers as a result of a growing legal challenge to the controversial move.

The Scottish Government has confirmed it will not be 
introducing the new law until legal action brought against it by drinks producers has been settled.

Over the Limit: The Truth about Families and Alcohol

15th October 2012
Over the Limit: The Truth about Families and Alcohol, warns of a silent epidemic of alcohol misuse by British families. The report warns that too many parents remain oblivious to the negative effects that alcohol can have on their parenting. An alarming 19% believe alcohol has a positive effect on their parenting ability and 62% of parents say that their drinking behaviour has no impact on their family at all.

Some of the key findings the report highlights are:
  1. 22% of children live with a parent who drinks hazardously
  2. 6% of children (around 700,000 across the country) live with a dependent drinker
  3. 62% of children who were subject to care proceedings were from families with parental alcohol misuse
  4. More than a third of all domestic violence cases involve alcohol

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