The death rate from alcohol abuse worldwide paints a “very frightening picture”, according to an organisation that works to combat the abuse of alcohol in Fife.
Fife Alcohol Support Service chairman John Hamilton, who is based in Kirkcaldy, was responding to the latest report from the World Health Organisation (WHO), which shows more than three million deaths worldwide in 2012 were due to the harmful use of alcohol.
The report also showed Europe has the highest consumption of alcohol per capita.
The WHO report stated that alcohol consumption can not only lead to dependence but also increases the risk of developing more than 200 diseases, including cirrhosis and some cancers.
A report launched by the United Nations health agency found harmful use of alcohol drinking that causes detrimental health and social consequences for the drinker and society at large led to 3.3 million deaths around the world in 2012.
The global status report on alcohol and health also found harmful use of alcohol makes people more susceptible to infectious diseases such as tuberculosis and pneumonia.
Mr Hamilton said Fife had seen a general rise in the rolling total of alcohol-related deaths in Fife between 2002 and 2010.
Male deaths in 2002-04 and 2003-05 were 232, in 2004-06 it was 243, 2005-07 was 267, 2006-08 was 265 and 2007-09 was 278 before dropping off slightly to 264 in 2008-10.
The rise in the number of female alcohol-related deaths in Fife was also notable with 125 female deaths in 2002-04, rising to 131 in 2003-05, 132 in 2004-06, 133 in 2007-09 and 143 in 2008-10.