Alcohol

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament at 4:52 pm on 25th October 2007.

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Photo of Shona Robison Shona Robison Scottish National Party 4:52 pm, 25th October 2007

Thank you, Presiding Officer.

We will continue to deliver the commitments that have been set out in the updated plan for action on alcohol problems. I commend the previous Administration for publishing that work. However, we are clear that to complement that action, a longer-term approach is required, if we are to tackle Scotland's complex relationship with alcohol and deliver the change in attitude that we all seek. We will work together across the Government to identify effective, evidence-based interventions to tackle the problems associated with alcohol misuse.

Members have heard about the range of measures that will be introduced under the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005, but that is only one part of the solution. The role of education is being reviewed to ensure that there is a more consistent, standardised and effective input into schools. Trish Godman requested that that be done—it is essential that it is. We need to ensure that others, such as the NHS, play their full role, recognising that much more can be achieved in partnership than can be done alone on such a complex issue. It is important that clear messages are given out, such as the chief medical officer's advice to pregnant women that no alcohol is the safest route. A number of members raised that issue during the debate.