The Social Harms
The burden of social harm from drinking alcohol is substantial. Alcohol is recognised as a contributory factor in a wide range of social problems including anti-social behaviour, crime, violence, domestic violence, strained relationships, family breakdown, child abuse and child neglect.
- Alcohol or drugs, or a combination of both, was a factor in 37% of those accused of homicide in Scotland in 2017-18
- Six in ten young offenders were drunk at the time of their offence
- 58% of people known to mental health services in Scotland who died by suicide had a history of alcohol misuse
- Up to 51,000 Scottish children are estimated to live with a parent whose drinking is problematic
- 17% of 15-year-olds reported drinking in the last week, of which 57% reported getting drunk
- A quarter of children on the Child Protection Register are estimated to be there due to parental alcohol or drug misuse
- One in three divorces cite excessive drinking by a partner as a contributory factor
- Emergency departments in Scotland deal with over 70 alcohol-related assaults every day.
Cost to Scotland of alcohol misuse
in NHS services
in social work services
in criminal justice and emergency services
in human costs (e.g. victims of alcohol-related crime in terms of physical and emotional costs)