Alcohol has a significant impact on ambulance operations in Scotland and is linked to increases in 999 calls, as well as incidents of abuse and assault on ambulance crews.
At weekends, 68% of all life threatening emergencies involve alcohol. There are around 3,000 alcohol related incidents and 400 drug related incidents at weekends each year in Glasgow city centre, which costs the Service £663,646.
After a weekend Old Firm fixture there is an increase in emergencies of between 15% and 20% in demand. The increase after a midweek evening fixture is around 5%. In almost all of these emergencies alcohol is a factor and often violence is involved.
The Service has agreed a process with the police to manage drunk and incapable people safely in the community and ensure that they are referred appropriately. In some cities and at particularly busy times, such as the festive season, the Service works with local authorities and other agencies to provide create city centre triage and rest and recuperation areas to better manage the care of drunk and incapable patients and reduce the unnecessary visits to busy A&E departments.