Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MSP, Alasdair Allan, has today commented on statistics produced by Alcohol Focus Scotland which estimate the financial cost to the community caused by alcohol abuse in the Western Isles.
For the first time these statistics have been produced across Scotland broken down by local authority area, and estimates that the total cost of alcohol harm to the islands is around £9.94 million a year. This equates to a cost of £379 per island resident.
Alasdair Allan commented:
“The news that alcohol abuse is costing the Western Isles almost ten million pounds a year is, I am afraid, merely a confirmation of what many people will have feared. The figure does not of course quantify the human cost to individuals and families, or the wider loss in economic potential. However, it does give us some idea of what a significant amount of time the health service, police and social services spend on dealing with this issue.
I am certainly not against people enjoying a drink, and do so myself. However, these figures are clearly a wake-up call. They remind us that the incidence of alcohol related deaths in the Western Isles is TWICE the UK average. All this makes me more convinced than ever that Scotland is doing the right thing by clamping down on the availability of ultra-cheap forms of alcohol.
“There are clearly other huge cultural issues to be tackled. But we should try to tackle them.”
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