ALCOHOL deaths have increased across Scotland in the last year.

Official statistics show there were 1,276 alcohol-specific deaths registered in Scotland in 2022.

The total is an increase of 2%, up by 31 from 2021. Female deaths rose by 31 to 440, with male deaths unchanged at 836.

In West Dunbartonshire, the five-year average number of deaths between 2018 and 2022 was 135.

The figure was down from 140 deaths for 2017 to 2021 but an increase from five years ago when it was 121 deaths for the years 2013 to 2017.

Elena Whitham, drug and alcohol policy minister, said: “Every life lost is a tragedy and my sympathy goes to all those affected by the loss of a loved one through alcohol.  

“While we will need to better understand the reasons for this increase in deaths, I will do all I can to reduce alcohol-related harm.

“We will continue to work closely with Alcohol and Drug Partnerships (ADPs) and the third sector to address this public health priority, backed by substantial investment.

“This year £113 million will be made available to ADPs to support local and national initiatives ensuring that local services can respond to local needs.”