Scottish Government hits alcohol help target

A target to help address alcohol abuse has been reached ahead of schedule, according to the Scottish Government.
Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon said the NHS in Scotland has delivered nearly 150,000 "brief interventions", a term describing short interviews or advice from GPs who suspect alcohol is playing a part in a patient's ill health.
The three-year target for 149,449 interventions was passed, with 150,876 being conducted between April 2008 and February this year.
The Government also said it is on track to support 8% of smokers to quit over the same period.
Ms Sturgeon said: "Scotland has an unenviable record of poor health. Making lifestyle changes - like stopping smoking and drinking sensibly - are key ways to reduce people's risk of coronary heart disease and stroke.
"That's why we set targets to help people quit smoking and address their drinking before it causes lasting damage to their health.
"These were challenging targets and health boards worked hard to achieve them. I'd like to congratulate all those involved.
"But the big winner here is our nation's health. These are steps in the right direction and every person who has stopped smoking or reduced their drinking has made a positive choice to change their life for the better."