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National Indicator: Alcohol Related Hospital Admissions

l Reduce alcohol related hospital admissions

Indicator Measure
The number of general acute inpatient and day case discharges per 100,000 population with an alcohol-related diagnosis

Current Status

The rate of alcohol-related hospital admissions in 2015/16 was 664.5 per 100,000 population. This was 9.6 per 100,000 (1.4%) lower than the  2014/15 figure of 674.1 per 100,000.

As the change was less than 10 per 100,000 the current status changes from ‘Performance Improving’ to ‘Performance Maintaining’.

1997-98 to 2015/16

* Please note that figures for 2015/16 are provisional.

Source: Information Services Division Scotland
The data for this chart is available at the bottom of the page.

Last Update: 25 October 2016
Next Update: October 2017

Reduce alcohol related hospital admissions

Why is this National Indicator important?
What will influence this National Indicator?
What is the Government's role?
How is Scotland performing?
What more do we know about this National Indicator?
Criteria for recent change
Further information
Who are our partners?
Related Strategic Objectives

Why is this National Indicator important?

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.

What will influence this National Indicator?

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.

What is the Government's role?

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.

How is Scotland performing?

Rates of alcohol-related hospital admissions have increased significantly for both men and women since the 1980s, peaking in 2007/8.

Rates have fallen by 22% since then, with a small decrease of 9.6 per 100,000 between 2014/15 and 2015/16.

The data is available at the bottom of the page.

What more do we know about this National Indicator?

Alcohol-related hospital admission rates in 2015/16 were around three times higher for men than for women (a rate of 960.8 per 100,000 for men compared to 368.2 for women). Rates have fallen for both men and women since peaking in 2007/8, declining by 23% for men and 20% for women.

Alcohol-related hospital admission rates also increase with age, tailing off in those aged 65 and over, and are approximately eight times more common in the most deprived areas compared to the least.

The data is available at the bottom of the page

Criteria for recent change

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.

Further Information

For information on general methodological approach, please click here.

Scotland Performs Technical Note

Who are our partners?

Local Authorities

NHS Scotland

Related Strategic Objectives


Safer and Stronger


Wealthier and Fairer


View National Indicator Data

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Title:Reduce alcohol related hospital admissions
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