Action needed to reduce alcohol hospitalisations

Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesman Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP today warned that action to tackle Scotland’s unhealthy relationship with alcohol is not cutting it as new statistics show almost 35,000 people were admitted to hospital as a result of alcohol last year.

Figures published by ISD Scotland show that there were almost 35,000 alcohol-related inpatient hospital admissions in 2015/16. In recent years, there has been an increase in both hospital admissions for alcoholic liver disease and alcohol withdrawal state, and in the number of people having multiple alcohol-related admissions within a year. 

These figures show that Scotland has a persistent unhealthy relationship with alcohol.  Almost 100 people a day are admitted to hospital due to alcohol. That indicates that the current approach to tackling our drinking culture simply isn’t cutting it. 

The Scottish Government can do much more than finally introduce minimum pricing. With more and more people being admitted to hospital on multiple occasions due to alcohol, ministers could start by reversing their damaging 20% cut to the drug and alcohol support services that are best placed to intervene and help prevent re-admissions.

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