Tue 17 Aug, 2021

The highest level of alcohol deaths since 2008 shows a need for action and greater preventative spend, according to the Scottish Greens.

National Records of Scotland statistics show there were 1,190 alcohol-specific deaths registered in Scotland in 2020, 170 more than the previous year.

The rate was four times higher in the most deprived areas and the increase was mainly driven by male deaths as the figure for women was static.

Commenting, Scottish Greens health spokesperson Gillian Mackay said: “Every one of these deaths is a devastating loss to a family left behind. While there was clear evidence that minimum unit pricing was working, these figures show how the pandemic changed behaviours.

“We need to recognise the role that poverty and mental health plays in this, providing earlier treatment and support where it is needed. There also still needs to be action on the marketing and promotion of alcohol and a reassessment of the minimum unit price.”

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