by Anna Fenton
A BBC Scotland investigation this week reveals that alcohol plays a major part in 68% of all Scottish Ambulance Service call outs at weekends.
Alcohol awareness week runs from 4th – 10th October and aims to raise awareness of the dangers of alcohol abuse and encourage responsible drinking across Scotland. Chris Sorek, Chief Executive of Drinkaware, says: ‘There is no doubt that too many people are drinking too much, not only putting themselves at risk of major health problems but also placing a huge burden on the NHS. In addition to health services for people suffering from the effects of alcohol misuse, preventative methods are also key. Education must play a central role in tackling alcohol misuse – it’s imperative that people know what they’re drinking and how it will affect them.’
Edinburgh South Liberal Democrat Prospective Parliamentary Candidate Fred Mackintosh, commented, ‘I fully support alcohol awareness week. It is vital that we do more to raise awareness, particularly amongst young people about the dangers of alcohol abuse.
‘The figures from the Scottish Ambulance Service highlight just how widespread and damaging the effects of alcohol abuse are in Scotland. Alcohol related call outs are largely preventable if, as a nation, we can adopt a more responsible approach to alcohol consumption… Governments need to focus on creating the culture change needed to tackle Scotland’s battle with the bottle and using existing laws to crack down on irresponsible retailers and bars.’
Alcohol awareness week comes in the wake of increasingly stringent government legislation concerning alcohol licensing.