A new report has revealed efforts to reduce the number of alcohol-related deaths across Dundee have stalled.
And the study by the city’s health and social care partnership shows there are fears the number of people losing their lives to drink could be on the rise once more.
The report reveals that according to 2015 figures, the city was among the worst local authorities in Scotland for alcohol-related deaths – 38 per 100,000 population.
And it also shows the number of alcohol-related crimes in the city are increasing.
It says there were 1,035 alcohol-related attendances at A&E reported during the period of 2015-16.
The report, which will be presented to the Integrated Joint Board (IJB), also reveals the number of deaths related to excess drinking could be increasing – with a “considerable proportion” of adults in Tayside consuming in excess of safe government guidelines.
Kathryn Baker, chief executive of Tayside Council on Alcohol, said the report backs up the findings of the organisation’s staff.
Ms Baker said: “Over the last year, we have seen an upward trend in numbers of people seeking help around their drinking.
“This, along with the comments from the people who use our services and the figures for the city, support the statements in the report to the IJB.
“Drinking and drinking to excess has become very much ‘normalised’ in our culture.
“We’ve perhaps yet to see the impact of minimum pricing on consumption but we know one thing for sure, and that is that tackling the issues of alcohol misuse in Dundee is complex, requiring a long-term commitment from all sectors working in partnership.”
The IJB report goes on to state that in recent years there has been a moderate reduction in the number of alcohol-related deaths in Dundee, mirroring national trends. But it adds: “However, the decrease in rates of alcohol-related deaths is stalling and showing signs of increasing again.
“Overall rates of alcohol-related deaths are still much higher than those in the early 1980s.
“Generally, those living in more affluent areas consume more alcohol than those in more deprived areas.
“Within the most deprived areas more individuals report abstaining from alcohol completely.
“However, harm to the health of individuals caused by the overconsumption of alcohol tends to be greater among those living in areas of deprivation.
“This is thought to reflect differences in how alcohol is consumed and co-existing health conditions.”
The report also reveals that the number of alcohol-related crimes increased from 1,377 recorded in 2012-13 to 1,434 in 2013-14.
An online community consultation showed that more than a third of people were worried about going out alone at night because of alcohol.
Alcohol was thought to be a contributory factor in 58% of serious assaults committed in Dundee in 2013-14, but the report authors suggest it is likely that the impact of alcohol on criminal behaviour is greater than current figures suggest.
David Lynch, chief officer of Dundee Health and Social Care Partnership, said: “Alcohol is too widely available in the city and therefore we have high levels of consumption and subsequent harm.”