The latest report from Monitoring and Evaluating Scotland’s Alcohol Strategy (MESAS) was published on 21 June. The 2017 monitoring report includes the following key points:
• In 2016, 10.5 litres (L) of pure alcohol were sold per adult in Scotland, equivalent to 20.2 units per adult per week. Per adult sales in Scotland were 17% higher than in England & Wales.
• The increase in population consumption in Scotland between 2013 and 2015 did not continue, with per adult sales returning to a similar level as in 2013. This was due to a fall in the volume of alcohol sold through the off-trade.
• In 2016, the average price of alcohol sold through the off-trade in Scotland was 53 pence per unit. In contrast, the average price of on-trade alcohol continues to increase, reaching £1.79 per unit in 2016.
• Self-reported consumption data show that 26% of adults in Scotland in 2015 exceeded the revised low-risk weekly drinking guideline for both men and women, a decline from 34% in 2003. Of those exceeding the guideline, mean weekly consumption was highest among those in the lowest income group.
• The proportion of children reporting drinking in the past week has declined considerably since the early 2000s. In 2015, 4% of 13 year olds and 17% of 15 year olds in Scotland reported drinking alcohol in the past week.
• In 2015, 1,150 people died in Scotland due to an alcohol-related cause, an average of 22 people per week. The downward trend in alcohol-related deaths (from its peak in 2003) has stalled and flattened since 2012. Alcohol-related death rates are currently 47% higher than in 1981 and 54% higher than in England & Wales.
• More than 23,400 people in Scotland were admitted to a general acute hospital with an alcohol-related diagnosis in 2015/16, with a total of 35,000 alcohol-related inpatient stays. This is a downward trend since 2007/08.