The Courier & Advertiser (Angus and Dundee)
Minimum pricing ‘saving lives’
The number of alcohol-related emergency hospital admissions has fallen by almost 6,500 in the last 11 years, according to new analysis.
Figures from the Scottish Parliament’s Information Centre show that such admissions have dropped by 16.2% from 39,857 in 2007-08 to 33,366 in 2018-19.
The number of emergency admissions to psychiatric units dropped by more than a third (36.9%) during the same period, from 2,117 to 1,335.
It comes after NHS research released in January showed that the volume of pure alcohol sold per person had dropped in Scotland since the introduction of minimum unit pricing.
Analysis of off-licence sales over the year following the 50p per unit lower limit being introduced in May 2018 shows a 3.6% drop in the volume of pure alcohol being sold per adult in Scotland, from 7.4 to 7.1 litres.
SNP MSP David Torrance said: “The SNP’S approach to tackling alcohol abuse in Scotland is working and the data suggests that minimum pricing is already saving lives.
“In 2018, Scotland became the first country in the world to introduce minimum unit pricing and since then we’ve seen the sale of super-strength cider drop by nearly a fifth.
“But we’ve also banned the irresponsible sale of multi-buy promotions and cracked down on drink-driving.
“We’re moving in the right direction but there’s so much work still to do.”