Sobering stats on alcohol harm in Argyll and Bute

Damage caused by alcohol costs Argyll and Bute almost £28 million a year, according to a new report.

A study by Alcohol Focus Scotland into the estimated cost of alcohol-related harm at a local authority level estimates that alcohol-related harm cost £4.01 million in health service provision, £3.45m in social care, £10.42m in crime and £10.10m in lost productivity or ‘productive capacity’ - all in Argyll and Bute alone.

And that’s without taking into account the wider social cost to the area.

The study uses the same methodology as the Scottish Government employed in 2010 for its report ‘The Societal Cost of Alcohol Misuse in Scotland in 2007, which estimated that alcohol-related harm cost Scotland as a whole £3.6 billion in the year under review.

Responding to the report, SNP Highlands and Islands MSP Mike MacKenzie said: “This is a very useful study and chimes with the Scottish Governments position regarding the cost of alcohol-related harm to Scotland.

“The overall cost to Argyll and Bute is estimated at £27.98m - that is a cost per person in 2010/11 of £314.

“The negative effects of alcohol consumption to the Argyll and Bute economy, the Highlands and Islands and Scotland as a whole is being confronted by the introduction of minimum pricing, which although not a silver bullet in tackling our relationship with alcohol, together with informed studies reflecting the reality of the cost in money and misery is setting us on the right road.”