By Sarah McMullan
Alcohol related deaths in Scotland are higher than they were in the 1980s according to shock new figures.
Alcohol Focus Scotland and the BMA conducted the study to establish to what extent alcohol impacts the health and communities of people in Scotland.
The results have been deemed ‘devastating’ with the report finding that 22 people are dying each week as a result of alcohol consumption.
Gillian Bell, communications coordinator for Alcohol Focus Scotland said:
“In Scotland there’s about a million Scots drinking above the recommended limits which is 14 units of alcohol a week.
“Those million Scots aren’t necessarily going to have health problems but they’re certainly putting themselves at increased risk.
“We know that there are 22 alcohol related deaths every single week, we show that as a football match – two football teams playing every single week die because of alcohol problems. That’s double the rate it was in the 80s.
“That’s why policies like minimum pricing are so important because we know that people who die because of alcohol problems are generally drinking the cheapest strongest alcohol.”
The report shows that men in their forties and fifties living in deprived areas are most likely to be affected by alcoholism.
Mrs Bell added: “That’s why policies like minimum pricing are so important because we know that people who die because of alcohol problems are generally drinking the cheapest strongest alcohol.
Campaigners are now calling on ministers to cut Scots alcohol intake by 10% over the course of a decade.
The BMA report made over 40 suggestions for improvement with the intention that it will act as a ‘blueprint’ for policy reform.
The government are supportive of the action with Health Secretary Shona Robinson saying she ‘welcomed the report.’
Caledonian News reports: