Select Committee on Scottish Affairs Minutes of Evidence


  I enclose a copy of Greater Glasgow's Draft Alcohol Strategy[6]. I think the key messages from the strategy are as follows:

  1.  Alcohol consumption in the area is at its highest level since the First World War.

  2.  Alcohol-related problems as measured by deaths and emergency admissions to hospital have been steadily increasing over the last 20 years.

  3.  Serious alcohol-related problems are 10 times more common in the most deprived parts of the area than the most affluent. This is a greater disparity than for any other health related problem except those due to illegal drugs.

  4.  The development of alcohol treatment services in the area has been at a virtual standstill over the last 20 years, in stark contrast to those for drug misusers.

  5.  Well-organised and adequately staffed alcohol treatment services are both effective and good value for money in terms of overall savings to society.

  6.  The strategy outlines a wide range of service developments designed substantially to increase the provision of effective help for people with alcohol problems.

  7.  Whilst a number of useful preventive measures can be taken at a local level, much depends upon central government in terms of tax on alcohol and licensing legislation.

  The consultation period for the strategy recently ended. We expect to issue the final version early next year. If you or members of the Committee wish any further information, please get in touch.

Dr Laurence Gruer
Consultant in Public Health Medicine

January 2001

6   Alcohol Strategy, Greater Glasgow Health Board, Summary, July 2000. Not herewith printed. Back

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