Social costs

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 is 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 have 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

Cost to Scotland of alcohol misuse

  • £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)

Support Minimum Pricing on Alcohol

Fill in your details to register your support for Scotland's Alcohol Minimum Pricing legislation.

Register your support

Sign up to our newsletter