Alcohol plays part in 200 hospital trips each year

Scottish Ambulance Service vehicle
Scottish Ambulance Service vehicle

Around 200 people are taken to hospital each year following alcohol-related incidents in East Dunbartonshire.

The Scottish Ambulance Service (SAS) has revealed that alcohol is a contributing factor in almost 600 hospitalisations over the last three years.

In the same time frame, paramedics have also recorded 99 cases where patients are thought to be have been under the influence of drugs.

Around five per cent of all call outs are for young people under the age of 18.

Some have responded to the news by underlining the importance of introducing minimum unit pricing.

Fiona McLeod, MSP for Strathkelvin and Bearsden, said: “This reflects the dire need for a change in attitude towards alcohol consumption in Scotland, which is why I supported the plans on the minimum price for alcohol.

“Its prime aim is to increase the price of own-brand spirits and ciders which have a typically-high alcohol content but are often very cheap to buy.

“That temptation can’t be allowed to continue as the effects of strong alcohol on a young person’s body can be devastating. It starts off laughing and joking but it can end up in A&E or a jail cell.”

Council officials question the reliability of SAS figures and say hospital discharge reports offer a better insight into alcohol-related admittances.

John Simmons, director of Integrated Health and Care, added: “East Dunbartonshire figures show a continuous year-on-year reduction in hospital discharges involving alcohol or drug use and we are currently exceeding our target for Alcohol Brief interventions, change.”