Tackling Scotland's Alcohol Problem

Monitoring and Evaluating Scotland's Alcohol Strategy 2nd Annual Report

3rd December 2012

NHS Health Scotland published the 2nd annual MESAS report today showing a slight reduction in alcohol consumption, with sales per adult dropping by 5% between 2009 and 2011. The report suggests that we still have a long way to go, with 49% of men and 38% of women still drinking beyond their daily recommended limits. You can find the full report here:


SHAAP joins European Alcohol and Health Forum

28th November 2012

SHAAP has joined the European Alcohol and Health Forum, making a wide ranging set of committments to work to reduce the harmful impact of alcohol use.

A full account of our commitment can be found in the publications section of this website.

NHSScotland Chief Executive's Annual Report 2011/12

26th November 2012
Whist overall premature mortality has fallen since 1991, the number of alcohol-related deaths has increased sharply during this time, more than doubling from 624 to 1,247 in 2011 (despite a 5 per cent decrease between the latest two years).

CMO annual report: Volume One, 2011 ‘On the state of the public’s health’

21st November 2012

CMO annual report: Volume One, 2011 ‘On the state of the public’s health’

The report shows a significant rise in cases of liver disease.

Drinking to get drunk: Influences of young adult drinking behaviours (Alcohol Concern UK and Balance North East November 2012

19th November 2012
A new report highlights drinking to get drunk’ as the defining feature of how their age group
relates to alcohol
. Those surveyed agree strongly that the price of alcohol, as well
as how alcohol is promoted, encourages this excessive consumption. Certainly, the
alcohol industry did not single-handedly create the ’British drinking style’ that is often
characterised, not always accurately, by the determination to drink large amounts in a short
space of time. But producers and retailers do have the capacity to influence consumer
behaviours, particularly in young people: a clear majority of those consulted believe that
both price and promotion strongly influence attitudes and behaviours towards alcohol.

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.

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