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Lothian alcohol hospital admissions

23/09/2008

Figures released today continue to show the scale of the problem of alcohol misuse in Scottish communities.

The number of people admitted to hospital in Lothian with a diagnosis of alcohol poisoning has increased by half over the last 10 years, with admissions rising from 682 in 1997-98 to 934 in 2006-07.

Those under the age of 24, accounted for nearly a quarter (22.6 per cent) of hospital admissions.

Public Health Minister Shona Robison said:

"These figures are another reminder of the grip alcohol misuse has on Scotland.

"Alcohol misuse costs the NHS £2.25 billion each year - it's affecting our health system, our justice system and our economy.

"Our proposals to tackle the problem of alcohol misuse are bold. They include raising the off-sales alcohol purchase age to 21 - based upon a series of highly successful local pilots - as well as minimum pricing for alcohol and a crackdown on irresponsible off-sales promotions.

"Now that the consultation period has ended, we'll analyse responses before setting out the way forward, which we will do later this year."