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  1. ITV Report

Alcohol-related deaths up by nine per cent in Wales

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.

Credit: PA

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.

504
There were 504 alcohol-related deaths in Wales in 2016.
8.9%
There was a 8.9% increase in alcohol-related deaths since 2015.

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.

77%
77 per cent of people reported a reduction in their substance misuse after treatment.

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.

Credit: PA

The Welsh Government currently invests £50 million a year to tackle substance misuse. But Health Secretary Vaughan Gething says more needs to be done.

Preventing future substance misuse is as important as treating the established problem.

We know that the harm associated with alcohol misuse in particular is a pressing concern and that’s why there is now an urgent need to tackle the affordability of cheap, strong alcohol, through introducing a minimum unit price for the sale of alcohol.

Our aim is to ensure that people in Wales are aware of the dangers and the impact of substance misuse to enable them to make informed choices and to know where they can seek out help and support – because each death caused by alcohol or drug misuse is one that can be and should be avoided.

– Vaughan Gething, Health Secretary