What will Minimum Unit Pricing achieve?
In order to explain exactly why this new Minimum Unit Pricing (MUP) policy has been introduced on alcohol products as from 1st May 2018, Jim Bett, Service manager at Kirkcaldy-based Fife Alcohol Support Service (FASS) stated that “Scotland has a very troubled relationship with alcohol, and as a nation, we drink 40% more than the low risk drinking guidelines of 14 units of alcohol per week for men and women.”
“The whole of Scotland is affected by alcohol-related harm and Fife is no exception,” said Jim “On average, alcohol misuse causes around 700 hospital admissions and 22 deaths every week and this costs Scotland an enormous £3.6 billion every year. That is £900 for every adult!”
However, Jim also added that some progress has been made. “We have managed to reduce the drink-driving limit, banned multi-buy drinks promotions and also tackled underage drinking, but still more needs to be done.”
“There is lots of evidence to demonstrate that as alcohol becomes more affordable, drinking increases, and as drinking increases so does harm. We know that one of the best ways to reduce the amount of cheap alcohol drunk by people in any country is to make it less affordable,”
Jim was then asked about the benefits of this new policy and he responded very positively, saying that research estimates that over the first 5 years of MUP, there will be around 400 fewer alcohol-related deaths and around 8,000 fewer alcohol-related hospital admissions in Scotland.”
Jim continued “This research also predicts that this will improve the economic prosperity of our country and also help to cut crime. MUP is the most effective way to tackle the cheap, high strength alcohol that causes so damage to so many families and communities.”
Jim Bett also reminded us that FASS operates throughout Fife offering a free and confidential counselling service which can assist the individual to reduce or eliminate the harmful effects of alcohol, and FASS has a very positive proven record in this field. His advice is very clear on this subject. “Please just pick up the phone and call FASS on 1592-206200. This can be the starting point, and it really can make a very significant difference!”