Alcoholism & Addiction

Two-Thirds of Scots Admit to Drinking Too Much Alcohol

Two-thirds of Scots admit to drinking too much alcohol, new research has revealed. In a study examining the reason why people drink, only 35 percent of Scots said they drink in moderation, while the rest said they drink excessively.

The Scotsman.com reports that according to the research carried out by the British Society of Gastroenterology, a quarter (26 percent) of Londoners said they drink to calm their nerves, and one in ten said they drink because of depression. But in Wales, 22 percent of those polled said they binge drink while with friends.

Scotland’s most senior police officer said the country’s binge drinking is out of control, and experts estimate that about 100,000 people in the UK could die as a result of alcohol abuse over the next ten years.

Campaigners are calling for better education for young people on the dangers of drinking and urged Scottish politicians to introduce a minimum price for alcohol in Scotland.

Pat Shearer, president of the Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland and chief constable of Dumfries and Galloway police, said that binge drinking had damaged Scotland’s international image, and called for children as young as five to be educated about alcohol abuse.

"We can’t continue the way we are, the costs are far, far too high,” he said. “Every weekend, we see the extreme impact of binge-drinking, not only on ourselves but also the great demand it places on the health service and the damage it does to families."

Scotland is one of the heaviest drinking countries in Europe, with more than 1,400 alcohol-related deaths last year. Scots are also twice as likely to suffer an alcohol-related death as people in the rest of the United Kingdom.

The charity Alcohol Concern reported that drink-related deaths across the whole of the UK have gone up from 3,054 in 1984 to 8,999 in 2008, so at current consumption levels 90,800 people will die by 2019.

"This is an unacceptably high death toll and the worst part is that all of these deaths are avoidable," said Alcohol Concern chief executive Don Shenker.

The Scottish Government announced plans earlier this year for a new law to bring in a minimum price for alcohol. Health campaigners are urging politicians to ensure that it is sold for at least 40p a unit.

Dr. Evelyn Gillan, director of Scottish Health Action on Alcohol Problems, said: "The evidence suggests that anything less than 40p would not make enough of an impact on people’s habits and so produce the necessary health benefits. You have to have policies that will reduce overall consumption amongst the population and the best way to do that is controls on price."

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