Scots are ‘ashamed’ of drinking culture

Nearly half of the Scottish public believe that the country’s alcohol habit is something to be ashamed of, a new survey shows.

It coincides with new figures showing that Scottish hospitals are reporting more than ten cases of alcohol poisoning a day.

The Scottish Government admitted in a written parliamentary answer that the figure for 2006-7 was almost 4,000 – a four-fold increase since the early eighties.

The Scottish Social Attitudes Survey showed that 51 per cent named alcohol as the drug which causes most problems for Scotland, compared with just 22 per cent blaming heroin.

Although 48 per cent think that the amount of alcohol people in Scotland drink is something to be ashamed of, a similar proportion (47 per cent) believe that the situation is no better in the rest of the UK.

Young people – those aged between 18 and 29 – expressed more permissive attitudes towards binge drinking, with only 36 per cent believing that a binge drinker should be embarrassed about their behaviour.

Although many people knew that there were recommended limits for alcohol consumption, the report said that knowledge of exact levels was “patchy”.

Public Health Minister Shona Robison said: “While most people would agree that drinking alcohol is part of Scottish culture, it’s clear that many of us are worried about how much we’re drinking these days, and the consequences for our health and wider society.”