Healthy living

The human cost of alcohol - doctors speak out

Too much alcohol will damage your health. Latest report published by the British Medical Association on alcohol abuse

Doctors reveal the stark reality of Scotland’s alcohol misuse problem in a new report published by BMA Scotland today.

In The Human Cost of Alcohol Misuse, doctors working in the NHS speak out about the serious health consequences of alcohol misuse on their patients.

Sobering Facts

  • In the last year 42,430 patients were discharged from Scotland’s hospitals for alcohol related conditions.
  • There has been a 400% increase in the number of people with alcoholic liver disease since 1996.
  • In 2006, an estimated 111,200 GP consultations in Scotland were for alcohol misuse.
  • Alcohol kills six people in Scotland every day

Dr Peter Terry, Chairman of the BMA in Scotland, said:

"Alcohol can be an enjoyable part of social and cultural life in Scotland, but the growing ‘booze culture’ emerging in our towns and cities is creating serious health problems for the future. Many people regularly drink more than the recommended levels of alcohol; ignoring the negative health consequences of this."

"The health effects of alcohol misuse are serious and severe and are related to more than 60 medical conditions. The lives of far too many Scots are being compromised and cut short by our relationship with alcohol."

Dr Andrew Thomson, deputy chairman of the BMA’s UK Board of Science, added:

"The introduction of minimum pricing is essential to stop retailers from selling alcohol at ridiculous prices, sometimes even cheaper than bottled water. Supermarkets should be leading the way in promoting the public health message. It is unfortunate that their only interest is to make money through irresponsible promotions that encourage heavy drinking."

This article was published on Thu 2 April 2009

Image © Maxim Malevich -

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