The burden of social harm from drinking alcohol is substantial. Alcohol is a recognised as a contributory factor in a wide range of social problems including anti-social behaviour, crime, violence, domestic violence, strained relationships, family breakdown, child abuse and child neglect.
- Alcohol was a factor in half of those accused of homicide in Scotland in 2003
- 1 in 6 of those 15-year-olds who have drunk alcohol reported trying drugs and 1 in 7 reported having unprotected sex as a consequence of alcohol consumption
- 65,000 Scottish children are estimated to live with a parent whose drinking is problematic
- A quarter of children on the Child Protection Register are estimated to be there due to parental alcohol or drug misuse
- One in three divorces cite excessive drinking by a partner as a contributory factor
- Emergency departments in Scotland deal with over 70 alcohol-related assaults every day.
Cost to Scotland of alcohol misuse
- Alcohol-related problems are estimated by the Scottish Government to cost Scotland £3.6 billion every year - that's £900 for every person
- £820m per year in reduced output and productivity, including work days lost due to alcohol- related absenteeism
- £405m per year in NHS services
- £170m per year in social work services
- £385m per year in criminal justice and emergency services
- £418m per year in human costs (e.g. victims of alcohol-related crime in terms of physical and emotional costs)