About this release

This dashboard release by Public Health Scotland (PHS) combines alcohol consumption and harms information from a variety of sources including NHS hospital admissions data, National Records of Scotland mortality data and Scottish Government survey data.

Please note that for this March 2024 release the 2022/23 rates analysis figures are based on 2021 mid-year population estimates. 2022 mid-year population estimates produced by National Records of Scotland were not available at the time of publication. When these become available the relevant analysis will be rerun and if a significant impact on the 2022/23 figures is seen a planned revision of published statistics will be undertaken.

Main points

  • General hospital admissions resulting from conditions wholly attributable to alcohol peaked in 2007/08 (855 per 100,000 population) but have fallen most years since and reduced by 37.5% between 2007/08 and 2022/23 (532 per 100,000).
  • During the period between 2012 and 2020, hospital admissions resulting from conditions either wholly attributable or partially attributable to alcohol peaked for males in 2014 (1,590 per 100,000) and in 2019 for females (774 per 100,000).
  • During the period between 2012 and 2020, deaths resulting from conditions either wholly attributable or partially attributable to alcohol peaked for males in 2017 (83 per 100,000) and in 2016 for females (45 per 100,000).
  • The 2022 Scottish Health Survey (SHeS) reports that 19% of respondents (aged 16 and over) stated that they did not drink any alcohol. This represents a rise on the equivalent 2021 figure which was 16%. There has been a steady increase in the percentage of SHeS respondents aged 16-24 years who report that they do not drink between 2016 and 2022 (10% in 2016 rising to 22% in 2022).
Image caption Wholly attributable alcohol hospitalisation rates, general acute hospitals, Scotland, 1981/82-2022/23


Alcohol health harms can be characterised as those which are wholly, or partially, attributable to alcohol consumption. Harms which are directly, and entirely, related to alcohol consumption are referred to as wholly attributable i.e. they only occur due to alcohol consumption. Partially attributable harms are those which alcohol consumption is one of a range of possible causative factors. Therefore these figures report a more expansive measure of alcohol harms and deaths compared to the National Records for Scotland alcohol specific deaths. An example of this is liver cancer, where harmful alcohol consumption increases the risk, but there are other multiple risks that may also increase the risk of liver cancer. Further information on other data reported and their sources can be found in the dashboard's Data sources and methods section.

Further information

The next release of this publication will be Autumn 2024.

General enquiries

If you have an enquiry relating to this publication, please email phs.alcohol@phs.scot.

Media enquiries

If you have a media enquiry relating to this publication, please contact the Communications and Engagement team.

Requesting other formats and reporting issues

If you require publications or documents in other formats, please email phs.otherformats@phs.scot.

To report any issues with a publication, please email phs.generalpublications@phs.scot.

Older versions of this publication

Versions of this publication released before 16 March 2020 may be found on the Data and Intelligence, Health Protection Scotland or Improving Health websites.

Last updated: 21 March 2024
Was this page helpful?