1,245 people died from conditions caused by alcohol in Scotland in 2021, according to latest figures published by National Records of Scotland.
The number of deaths is 5% (55) higher than 2020 and is the highest number of deaths since 2008.
Professor Sir Ian Gilmore, Chair of the Alcohol Health Alliance UK, said:
“It is heart-breaking to hear that the number of deaths linked to alcohol harm has increased again in Scotland. Each one of these deaths is a tragedy for families and communities across the country.
“The number of alcohol deaths has increased sharply across the UK since the COVID-19 pandemic and research suggests many more lives will be cut short if urgent action is not taken. As it stands, there is no plan in place from the UK Government to use their reserved powers to curb this mounting crisis. Without a UK wide alcohol strategy to ensure that evidence-based, lifesaving policies are introduced to reduce our alcohol consumption and urgent investment is poured into treatment services, there is no hope for turning this tragic trend around.”
Julie Ramsay, Vital Events Statistician at NRS, said:
“Health inequalities are a feature of alcohol-specific deaths. Deaths attributed to alcohol were 5.6 times as likely in the most deprived areas of Scotland compared to the least deprived areas. This is more than the deprivation gap for all causes of death, which is 1.9. Two thirds of those who died last year were male.”