Alcohol-related deaths up

NHS SHETLAND has warned islanders against being complacent when it comes to drinking after the latest alcohol-related death figures were released by the Scottish government.

Statistics published on Thursday show that three people died in Shetland in 2014 as a result of problems linked with alcohol, an increase of two from the previous year, while in 2012 the figure was zero.


In contrast, the mid-2000s saw around six people per year having alcohol-related deaths – a term that includes causes such as alcoholic liver disease and hepatic fibrosis.

NHS Shetland public health director Sarah Taylor said that the number of alcohol-related deaths in the isles remain low because of the size of the region.

However she said the relatively small numbers should not be a reason for complacency.

“For most of us drinking alcohol is a pleasant social activity, but for some people it is an addiction, and there’s a lot that we should be doing to reduce the harm that excessive drinking can cause – not just to people’s health, but in links to violence and domestic abuse, and to anti-social behaviour,” she said.


“We want people who do have a problem with their drinking to come forward for help, and for the whole community to help reduce the stigma that stops people asking for help.

“People often drink to excess as a way of hiding from underlying problems, so talking about those problems and getting help to deal with other issues might be what folk need.

“If you know of someone whose drinking is a cause for concern, please talk to them and encourage them to get help, either with their drinking or with other problems they might have that they are finding difficult to deal with.”