Commenting on new figures published today which show that one in 20 deaths are attributable to alcohol, Dr Peter Terry, Chairman of the BMA in Scotland, said:
"These figures highlight the true hidden human cost of alcohol misuse in Scotland. Today's figures are from 2003 and show a shocking death toll caused by a drinking culture that is out of control. We already know that alcohol consumption has increased between 2003 and 2006 so the death toll now will be far higher.
"Scotland is awash with alcohol and the consequences are crippling the health service. The scale of the problem needs radical solutions. A wide ranging strategy is essential, but alongside public health education and awareness raising, a central part of this strategy is to introduce minimum price per unit of alcohol.
Legislation on price is the only proven way to help change behavior and end the heavy drinking culture that is blighting our health service."'