THE ONGOING CHALLENGE facing various agencies in Moray who seek to reduce the number of alcohol-related deaths has been detailed in a new report.
Figures published by the National Records for Scotland show an increase in the number of such deaths in the Moray Council area in 2016 – up from 22 to 24.
Now Moray MSP Richard Lochhead has described the figures as a “reminder” of the devastating effect alcohol misuse can have on individuals – and the grieving families they leave behind. Since records on alcohol related deaths began in 1979 the number of such deaths in Moray has remained steady since they peaked at 28 deaths in 2004.
The lowest number of related deaths was three in 1983.
Mr Lochhead said: “To see the number increase last year is reminder of the huge challenge agencies face in tackling alcohol misuse. The impact that alcohol misuse has on families is huge but when it is the cause of a death it absolutely devastating for loved ones.
“The reasons behind alcohol misuse in Moray are complex but they cause social and economic harm and behind every statistic is an individual and families.
“I know that the Moray Drug and Alcohol Partnership work hard to provide support to people affected throughout our communities, and clearly it is vital that they continue to do so, and I hope to meet with them very soon to discuss what more can be done to tackle alcohol misuse and ultimately to save lives.”