Alcohol related deaths; A Glasgow city cohort

First published: 10 May 2019 | Last updated: 20 May 2019

Aims:  To investigate alcohol related deaths in Glasgow in 2013 in order to identify key risk factors identified through an alcohol related death (ARD).   The audit included exploring individuals recorded histories of problem drinking and alcohol related harms and to identify their contact or involvement with alcohol treatment services. The audit also sought to explore the role of health services in identifying and managing alcohol related problems and other related co-morbidities in the community.

Methods:  56 cases were selected, stratified by age and gender to be representative of the total number of alcohol related deaths in Glasgow City in 2013, (n=189). A mixed methods approach was taken with quantitative data collected through a tailored question set and qualitative data collected through a thematic analysis of the casenotes.  Data sources included primary care records, social work service record and acute records along with information from criminal justice services, homeless services and prescription data.

Results:   An individual most at risk of an alcohol related death is a single white Scottish male, unemployed, living in deprivation, socially isolated and engaged in sporadic treatment patterns and frequent contact with emergency departments and other acute services.

Conclusion:  The resulting report identified key areas that required further review within addiction services in terms of treatment and care of alcohol related problems along with recommendation for other tier 1 and 2 services who were found to be in frequent contact with this cohort such as primary care and emergency departments. The report makes a total of 25 recommendations which was integrated into the Glasgow alcohol related death prevention action plan.


Dr Saket Priyadarshi, Associate Medical Director, NHS GG&C Addiction Services Dr Tony Martin, Research Associate, NHS GG&C Addiction Services Dr Trina Ritchie, Lead Clinician & Senior Medical Officer, NHS GG&C Addiction Services

Conflicts of interest:

no conflict of interest

Mrs Stephanie Durgan