Page last updated at 10:18 GMT, Wednesday, 13 May 2009 11:18 UK

Funding boost for alcohol misuse

Glasses of beer, wine, spirits
Funds can also be given to independent projects tackling alcohol misuse

Scottish health boards have received £36m to combat alcohol misuse in 2009/10, a 45% increase on the previous year's funding.

The majority of the money will be used to treat individuals with established alcohol problems through the NHS and local alcohol and drug partnerships.

NHS boards can also allocate funds to independent voluntary projects.

More "brief interventions" to help patients with problems that could be alcohol-related will also be funded.

In these sessions, patients who might not realise that drinking is affecting their health will be asked about their alcohol intake and given advice.

The allocation of funding to different areas of Scotland is based on the proportion of the population living there and the prevalence of alcohol problems.

Funding benefit

Ayrshire and Arran - £2.49m
Borders - £980,000
Dumfries and Galloway - £1.22m
Fife - £2.47m
Forth Valley - £1.9m
Grampian - £2.8m
Greater Glasgow and Clyde - £9.06m
Highland - £2.27m
Lanarkshire - £3.44m
Lothian - £5.31m
Orkney - £420,000
Shetland - £430,000
Tayside - £2.7m
Western Isles - £500,000

Greater Glasgow and Clyde NHS board received the largest amount, of £9.06m. Lothian NHS board was next, with £5.31m.

Among others, NHS Grampian received £2.8m.

Public Health minister Shona Robison said: "This further significant investment will help to turn lives around across Scotland by identifying and treating people in need of help."

She spoke at a visit to the Liber8 alcohol action project, based in Blantyre, South Lanarkshire, which has benefited from the funding increase.

Margaret Halbert, the project's general manager, said: "In the past, Liber8 Lanarkshire's adult counselling service was provided and sustained by volunteers, but since the alcohol funding became available, we have been able to employ counsellors to add to, sustain and develop the provision of alcohol services throughout South Lanarkshire, in particular the rural areas where a mobile service now exists."

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