Date Published: 24 February 2009
Tackling human cost of alcohol misuse requires tough action
Commenting on Alcohol Statistics published today [Tuesday 24 February 2009], Dr Peter Terry, chairman of the BMA in Scotland, said:
“This publication is a demonstration of the serious reality of Scotland’s alcohol problem. Alcohol misuse costs the NHS more than £405 million pounds each year, that’s more than £1 million every day and the human cost is far greater. The health consequences of regularly drinking over and above the recommended daily limits, and of binge drinking are serious and severe.
These alcohol statistics clearly illustrate why tough action is needed to tackle alcohol misuse in Scotland. The BMA supports a wide-ranging strategy that tackles price and availability, particularly measures to end the deep discounting of alcohol where it is sold for ridiculously cheap prices. However, individuals too have a responsibility and that is why we want to see compulsory labelling of all alcohol products so that people can make informed choices about how much they drink.”
Alcohol misuse is related to over 60 medical conditions including heart and liver disease, diabetes, strokes and mental health problems. Binge drinking and severe intoxication can cause muscular incoordination, blurred vision, stupor, hypothermia, convulsions, depressed reflexes, respiratory depression, hypotension and coma.
Source: British Medical Association.