The County You Live, Work And Play
Alcohol Deaths Reach Five Year High
Figures published last week show the number of people who died because of an alcohol-related disease or illness increased by 22 per cent, from 67 in 2013.
The most up to date statistics available, released by National Records of Scotland, show the figure has increased every year since 2010 except for one sharp dip in 2013.
There were on average 75 deaths per year in which alcohol was a contributing factor.
NHS Lanarkshire’s clinical director for addictions Dr Adam Brodie said: “Alcohol dependency can be brought about by a number of factors such as stress or personal issues, however, two of the most prominent are deprivation and socio-economic factors which partly explains the Lanarkshire figures, as well as the fact that South Lanarkshire has a relatively high population, in comparison with some other council areas.
“To help address the socio-economic factors, the Lanarkshire Alcohol and Drug Partnership actively promotes support and services in areas where deprivation is higher and where the issue of alcohol dependency can be greater.”
Well-being charity Healthy n’ Happy works to counter to the effects of social deprivation in Rutherglen and Cambuslang and to educate young people and the wider community about responsible drinking.
Rebecca Haack, the charity’s services manager, said: “We are saddened to learn of the increase in alcohol related deaths in South Lanarkshire.
“Local communities in Cambuslang and Rutherglen have reported their concerns about the affect of alcohol on individuals, families and their local area. Healthy n’ Happy works with individuals and families who are affected by alcohol and substance misuse and we see the impact that this can have, particularly on family relationships and mental health. Our work with children, young people and their families over the years has been from a preventative and educational perspective.
“There is lots of good multi-agency working going on in Cambuslang and Rutherglen and across South Lanarkshire, however as a nation we need to start a national conversation about our relationship with alcohol.”
The most recent figures show South Lanarkshire is among the worst performing local authorities in terms of alcohol-related deaths, but the statistics do not account for its large population.
NHS Lanarkshire argues that when looking at the whole health board area alcohol related deaths have steadily fallen over the past 10 years.