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Two-thirds of Scots are drinking too much

Monday, October 26th, 2009 Two-thirds of Scots are drinking too much

Two-thirds of people from Scotland are drinking an excessive amount of alcohol, according to a new study.

The research, carried out by The British Society of Gastroenterology, revealed that 65 per cent of Scots admit to drinking excessively and that only 35 per cent drink in moderation.

Twenty-six per cent of people interviewed in London admitted that they turned to alcohol to calm their nerves and one in ten said they drank due to depression.

In Wales, twenty-two per cent of those questioned said that they binge drank whilst with friends.

The research was published as Scotland’s most senior police officer said that binge drinking in the UK is out of control.

Pat Shearer, president of the Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland and chief constable of Dumfries and Galloway police, said that binge drinking has damaged Scotland’s international image.

He said: “We can’t continue the way we are, the costs are far, far too high.

“Every weekend, we see the extreme impact of binge-drinking, not only on ourselves but also the great demand it places on the health service and damage it does to families.”

Health campaigners have called for better education for children on the dangers of drinking. Moreover, they have asked Scottish politicians to support plans to introduce a minimum price for alcohol in Scotland.

The Scottish Government announced plans earlier this year to introduce a new law to bring a minimum price for alcohol.

Campaigners are asking politicians to ensure that each unit of alcohol is sold at a minimum of 40 pence.

Director of Scottish Health Action on Alcohol Problems, Dr Evelyn Gillian, said: “The evidence suggest that anything less than 40p would not make enough of an impact on people’s and so produce the necessary health benefits.

“You have to have policies that will reduce overall consumption amongst the population and the best way is controls on price.”

Last year Scotland has 1,400 alcohol-related deaths, making it one of the heaviest drinking countries in Europe. Furthermore, people from Scotland are twice as likely to suffer from an alcohol-related death compared to people in the rest of the United Kingdom.

It is estimated that alcohol misuse cost the NHS in Scotland £400m.

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