The National Records of Scotland have published new data for alcohol-specific deaths registered in Scotland in 2019. These data show there were 1,020 alcohol-specific deaths in 2019, a drop of 10% from 2018, and the lowest annual total since 2013.

SHAAP is encouraged to see this drop of 10%, especially given that it is the first substantial decrease in recent years, and has occurred in the first year for which we have full figures available since the implementation of minimum unit pricing (MUP) in 2018.

However, we are also aware that this definition of alcohol-specific deaths does not include deaths where alcohol is known to be a contributory factor, such as deaths due to cancer, suicide and road accidents. There is still much work to be done to reduce alcohol-related harm and mortality in Scotland, which remains high. SHAAP looks forward to building on the progress that these figures show in the coming years by advocating for the implementation of high-impact, effective and cost-effective strategies that can continue to reduce alcohol-related harm in Scotland.