Alcohol was a factor in nearly 90,000 ambulance call-outs between 2016 and 2020, figures show.

In an answer to a parliamentary question from the Scottish Liberal Democrats, Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said alcohol was a factor in 89,265 call-outs over the period.

There were 14,385 such cases in 2016 and 15,420 the following year.

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Reporting methods changed in 2017, allowing ambulance crews to record alcohol as a factor in cases involving overdose, convulsions and drowning.

There were 31,009 call-outs involving alcohol in 2018 and 28,451 in 2019.

Lib Dem health spokesman Alex Cole-Hamilton said the figures highlight the need for Scots to drink responsibly as lockdown restrictions ease.

He said: “The number of ambulance call-outs that have been tied to alcohol consumption over the last few years is staggering. Vast resources and a lot of staff time is tied up in dealing with these incidents.

“Scots across the country will be delighted to have the opportunity to socialise more and to see their local pubs and restaurants open their doors once again.

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“But as they do, everyone needs to act responsibly to avoid unnecessarily adding to the workload of staff who have worked so hard, protect the capacity of the health service and secure the progress we’ve made in stamping out the virus.

“We owe wearied NHS workers unending thanks for the life-saving work they’ve carried out throughout the pandemic.

“These new figures show just how much of a burden alcohol is on their daily operations and emphasises once again the thanks we owe them.

“One of the ways we can show that thanks is by being responsible and respectful as we all socialise more and ensure they are not burdened by a cascade of drunken call-outs.”