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Strong alcohol raises bingeing

28th May 2008

New health service figures have revealed that some Scottish drinkers are bingeing at much higher levels than previously estimated.

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Strong alcohol and large measures could double the levels of consumption in previous estimates.

The NHS Health Scotland data revealed that 34% of male drinkers consumed over the recommended 21 units a week and 23% of female drinkers drank more than 14 units.

The information comes from the 2003 Scottish Health Survey and has been "recalculated" in order to take into consideration increased measures and higher alcohol levels.

The previous calculations showed 27% of men and 14% of women drank over recommended limits.

The new figures showed 40% of male drinkers and 33% of female drinkers drank "at least double" the recommended amount when they were binge drinking.

Minister for Public Health Shona Robison said: "What's even more worrying is that, given NHS Health Scotland's findings, the true scale of alcohol misuse is likely to be significantly worse than even these figures suggest."

She said that people needed to be able to take control of how they consumed alcohol and the problem should be seen as affecting the whole community.

NHS Health Scotland said the new calculations meant that future surveys would be able to be more accurate.

Sonnda Catto, public health surveys manager at NHS Health Scotland and author of the report, said: "This review has changed our ideas about the scale of alcohol consumption in Scotland and it has already helped Scottish Government thinking in the development of its new alcohol strategy."

 

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