Intended for healthcare professionals

Research Article

Association between liberalization of Scotland's liquor licensing laws and admissions for self poisoning in West Fife.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1986; 293 doi: (Published 06 December 1986) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1986;293:1466
  1. D B Northridge,
  2. J McMurray,
  3. A A Lawson


    Data were collected prospectively on 2868 consecutive patients admitted for self poisoning between 1971 and 1982. Analysis showed a dramatic increase in the frequency of alcohol taken in association with self poisoning, in both sexes, after the liberalization of Scotland's liquor licensing laws. This increase, however, did not appear to affect the severity of overdoses or the outcome. Total admission rates for self poisoning increased with relaxation of the liquor licensing laws, and since overdoses associated with alcohol tend to occur at night these impose considerable strain on casualty departments and acute admitting units.