About this release

This release by Public Health Scotland (PHS) provides information on alcohol-related inpatient and day case activity within general acute and psychiatric hospitals in Scotland. This release covers general acute hospital activity for the financial years 1981/82 to 2022/23 and psychiatric hospital admissions from 1997/98 to 2022/23. Please note that for this March 2024 release the 2022/23 rates analysis figures are based on 2021 mid-year population estimates.

Main Points

  • In 2022/23 there were 31,206 alcohol-related hospital admissions (stays) in Scotland. The majority of these admissions (92%) were treated in general acute hospitals (28,800) with the remaining 8% of admissions (2,406) occurring in psychiatric hospitals.
Image caption Alcohol-related hospitalisation rates, general acute hospitals, Scotland, 1981/82-2022/23
  • In 2022/23, the European Age-sex standardised rate of alcohol-related hospital admissions to general acute hospitals (stays) was 577 per 100,000 population,11% lower than the rate in 2021/22 (652 per 100,000).
  • In 2022/23, men were 2.4 times more likely than women to be admitted to general acute hospitals for alcohol-related conditions (749 stays per 100,000 compared to 315 stays per 100,000). This pattern is seen across the last ten years.
  • In 2022/23, people in the most deprived areas were seven times more likely to be admitted to general acute hospitals for an alcohol-related condition than those in the least deprived areas (849 patients per 100,000 compared to 127 patients per 100,000). This pattern is seen across the last ten years.


Consumption of alcohol can result in a wide range of health problems. Some may occur after drinking over a relatively short period, such as acute intoxication (drunkenness) or poisoning (toxic effect). Others develop more gradually, such as damage to the liver and brain. Estimates of the number of inpatient and day case hospitalisations are based on counts where alcohol-related conditions are diagnosed during the hospital stay (see Metadata for more information).

Attendances at Accident and Emergency that do not result in an admission to hospital are not included in this report. Individuals may have more than one stay in hospital during a year, therefore the number of people admitted will be less than the total number of stays.

Data presented for 01 April 2022 to 31 March 2023 are provisional and may be subject to change in future publications as figures will be updated to reflect more complete data from NHS Boards.

Further Information

The next release of this publication will be December 2024.

General enquiries

If you have an enquiry relating to this publication, please contact Scott Kilgariff at 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
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