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.
Alcohol misuse is a complex issue affecting all sectors of society. A wide range of social, cultural and health-related factors influence alcohol related hospital admissions. These include: accessibility and availability; enforcement of existing drinking laws; education and awareness; early intervention; and the availability and use of appropriate services. All of which are compounded by issues such as deprivation, mental health issues and homelessness.
To take forward the actions in our long-term strategic approach for tackling alcohol misuse - "Changing Scotland's Relationship with Alcohol: A framework for Action". This includes action on accessibility and availability of alcohol, raising public awareness of the negative consequences of excessive drinking and stricter enforcement of existing laws. Significant investment in health improvement initiatives, including the roll out of screening and alcohol interventions across a range of healthcare settings.
Given the link between consumption and harm, and evidence that affordability is one of the drivers of increased consumption, addressing price is an important element of any long-term strategy to tackle alcohol misuse. We believe that a minimum price per unit of alcohol would be the most effective and efficient way to tackle alcohol misuse in Scotland. The Alcohol (Minimum Pricing) (Scotland) Bill was passed on the 24th May 2012 and this will pave the way for the introduction of a preferred minimum price of 50p per unit. This landmark policy is a significant step forward in the Scottish Government's efforts to tackle Scotland's unhealthy relationship with alcohol.
In 2016/17 the alcohol-related stay rate per 100,000 population in general acute hospitals was 685.2, an increase compared to the previous year (673.2).
Prior to this there had been a steady decline in alcohol-related admissions since a high point in 2007/08.
The data is available at the bottom of the page.
Alcohol-related hospital admissions are around three times more common in males compared to females. The rate of hospital stays in 2016/17 was 989.1 per 100,000 for males compared to 381.4 per 100,000 for females. Males accounted for 71% of alcohol-related hospital stays in 2016/17.
Alcohol-related admission rates in General Acute Hospitals increase with age, tailing off in those aged 65 years and over for males and 55 and over for females.
The data is available at the bottom of the page
This evaluation is based on: any difference within +/- 10 per 100,000 of last year's figure suggests that the position is more likely to be maintaining than showing any change. A decrease of 10 per 100,000 or more suggests the position is improving; whereas an increase of 10 per 100,000 or more suggests the position is worsening.
For information on general methodological approach, please click here.
Scotland Performs Technical Note
Safer and Stronger
Wealthier and Fairer