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Health of Scotland’s population - Alcohol


Alcohol misuse contributes to a wide range of social and health problems, including cardiovascular disease, liver disease, pancreatitis, cancer, suicide, accidents, and antisocial behaviours including crime and domestic violence.

Tackling alcohol-related harm is one of the Scottish Government's key public health priorities. Alcohol-related admissions give a measure of the amount of harm to physical and mental health that alcohol misuse is causing. Not only is there evidence of the increasingly negative impact alcohol misuse is having on the physical and mental health of individuals, there is also evidence of its effect on wider outcomes such as employment, crime and families.

Rates of alcohol-related hospital admissions have increased significantly for both men and women since the 1980s, peaking in 2007/8.  Since then they have fallen by 22%.  Rates are currently around three times higher for men than for women but have fallen for both sexes since peaking in 2007/8 (declining in the last year by around 5% for men and 4% for women).

Alcohol related hospital admissions in Scotland

Note: Figures for 2014/15 are provisional.

View chart data

Source: Information Services Division (ISD) Scotland

The Scottish Government has also established a National Indicator to reduce alcohol related hospital admissions.

Further Information