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Figures show Scotland's alcohol services need urgent investment

This news post is 11 months old

Excess consumption is at crisis level but people aren't accessing support services

Investment in specialist alcohol services is urgently needed after it emerged access has dropped by 40%.

Across Scotland the number of people accessing treatment dropped by 40% while in Glasgow it was 58%.

Alcohol Focus Scotland said the reduction over the last decade coincided with a period when budgets for Alcohol and Drug Partnerships were cut by the Scottish Government.

GPs dealing with the health implications of excessive alcohol consumption said it has reached a “crisis level”.

It showed that since 2011/12 across Scotland the number of people accessing specialist treatments dropped from 27,595 to 19,617 in 2021/22

For Glasgow, the figures were a drop from 11,895 in 2013/14 to 4,901 in 2021/22.

The charity said alcohol deaths are at the highest level since 2008 and warned investment and action on alcohol pricing and promotion is needed.

It stated: “In 2021, 1,245 people lost their lives to alcohol-specific causes, the highest number since 2008.”

And it highlighted the importance of funding stating: “The period of decline coincides with a period when funding to Alcohol and Drugs Partnerships, who are responsible for overseeing local alcohol services, was cut by 20% from £69.2 to £53.8 million.”

Laura Mahon, deputy chief executive of Alcohol Focus Scotland, said: “The drop in the level of treatment in Scotland over the last ten years is shocking and deeply concerning.

“This drop in treatment coincides with a period when budgets for Alcohol & Drug Partnerships were cut. At the time, many of us feared that those cuts would affect service provision and it now appears that is the case.

“The Scottish Government urgently needs to invest in alcohol treatment and to monitor provision to ensure these vital services are maintained.”



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