NINE people in Clackmannanshire died due to alcohol last year, recent figures have shown.

According to new figures from the National Records of Scotland (NRS), nine people in the area died with alcohol as the cause, a decrease of three from 2020's total of 12.

Across the wider Forth Valley area, 57 people in the area died from alcohol-specific causes.

It represents a drop of 13 from 2020 when the number was 70.

Cllr Wendy Hamilton, Clackmannanshire Council's spokesperson for health and social care, said: "While we were grateful to see fewer alcohol related deaths in 2021, recent years have unfortunately seen increasing alcohol deaths across Scotland.

"More people are seeking support for alcohol problems locally, and it's important to remember recovery is possible.

"The Alcohol and Drug Partnership has invested in additional service capacity to support people through the pandemic, and will be working to ensure people can access support for alcohol problems in the future.

"We continue to support measures like Minimum Unit Pricing which have been shown to reduce alcohol consumption among people at the highest risk of harm.

"Preventing alcohol deaths also needs us to reach people struggling with alcohol earlier in their lives, with specific support."

The number of alcohol-related deaths across the country has increased by 55. In 2021 the number was 1,245, an increase on the previous year's total of 1,190.

The rate of mortality has not been this high since 2008.

Of those who died from alcohol-specific causes, two thirds were male.

The average age of deaths of those who died from these causes was 58.7 years old for females and 59.7 years old for males.

Julie Ramsay, Vital Events statistician at NRS, said: "Health inequalities are a feature of alcohol-specific deaths.

"Deaths attributed to alcohol were 5.6 times as likely in the most deprived areas of Scotland compared to the least deprived areas.

"This is more than the deprivation gap for all causes of death, which is 1.9.

"Two thirds of those who died last year were male."

People in the Wee County who are seeking help, or know someone who is, can contact Change Grow Love by calling 0808 196 2188 or visiting Lime Tree House in Alloa.