There were 504 alcohol-related deaths in Wales in 2016, an increase of 8.9% from 2015, a new Welsh Government report on substance misuse shows.
The latest annual report for the Welsh Government’s 10 year substance misuse strategy, Working Together to Reduce Harm, shows that while there has been an increase in both alcohol-related and drug-related deaths, good progress has been made on providing quicker treatment.
Despite the rise the number of people being referred for treatment are receiving support within the 20 day waiting time target.
Treatment outcomes are also improving, with 77% of people reporting a reduction in their substance misuses following treatment in 2016/17, compared to 69.2% in 2012/13.
The report also highlights that in 2016, 20% of adults (or 1 in 5) reported drinking more than the UK Chief Medical Officers’ recommended 14 units a week limit for alcohol consumption.
The Welsh Government currently invests £50 million a year to tackle substance misuse. But Health Secretary Vaughan Gething says more needs to be done.