Germany is likely one of the heaviest alcohol-drinking nations in Europe, positioned fifth after Luxembourg, Hungary, Czech Republic and Eire. Solely round 5 % of Germans take into account themselves teetotalers, making it – after Luxembourg – the European nation with the bottom share of people that abstain from consuming.
In response to the World Well being Group the European area has the very best alcohol consumption of all different areas on this planet and per capita consumption twice as excessive because the world common.
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“Biggest social problem”
Alcoholism is a big downside in Germany, in response to Peter Lang, head of drug prevention and abuse on the German Middle for Well being Training.
“It’s difficult to say what is causing this, because alcohol is more or less an accepted drug in a lot of circumstances, like for parties or other social occasions,” Lang stated.
“If you compare Germany to countries like the US, there is drinking in public that is different and more accepted. Consuming alcohol during the day is really more accepted here in Germany,” he added.
Most up-to-date information exhibits that that 1.7 million Germans are depending on alcohol and wish therapy, while, 2.7 million use alcohol in a dangerous manner.
In comparison with the US, the newest annual information from 2001-2002 exhibits that of a inhabitants of almost 300 million, there are 7.91 million folks depending on alcohol.
“German society as a whole doesn’t have a positive image of excessive drinking, but in general, awareness of the dangers of excessive consumption is growing,” stated Gabriele Barsch of the German Middle for Dependancy Points.
“The per capita consumption of pure alcohol in Germany has been regressive for about six years, and fatalities caused by alcohol related accidents has halved since 1995,” Barsch stated.
“But for young people drinking alcohol is part of their lifestyle, particularly on weekends and parties,” she added. Alcohol is consumed “too thoughtlessly and too carelessly.”
Mark, who didn’t need his final title talked about, is an American who’s the coordinator for the English-speaking Alcoholics Nameless in Germany. He has observed that German tradition is extra accepting of alcohol use.
“However, it seems just as socially unacceptable to drink large quantities and let your drinking get out of control here as in other societies,” Mark stated.
“A common misperception, both in Germany and the US, is that if you only drink beer or wine, you cannot be an alcoholic,” he stated. “This seems to be an even more prevalent attitude here in Germany.”
Is 16 years too younger?
The authorized consuming age in Germany is 16, although children should wait till they’re 18 to drink spirits. That five-year distinction to the US, the place the consuming age is 21, seems to be vital.
“If you drink especially when you are under 18, it can cause massive damage as there is still brain development happening in these years,” Lang stated. “But to change the law to 18, this cannot be done without health awareness campaigns.”
Barsch stated she wish to see the minimal age for getting and consuming alcohol elevated to 18.
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“But we are aware that you cannot reduce the harm done by alcohol by only introducing one new measure or law,” she stated. “What we need is a comprehensive approach of the problem.”
Drink anyplace, anytime
In Germany, alcohol will be bought in grocery shops, gasoline stations and even newspaper stands. It may be consumed in eating places, cafes and snack bars, and it is not unusual to see folks consuming in parks, on the streets and even on public transport.
Ingesting in public so overtly is a phenomenon that solely started about 5 years in the past, in response to Lang. He posited that the event may need needed to with the elevated recognition of alcopops, alcohol blended with soda designed to enchantment to younger customers. However they do not cease at that.
“At the moment you see younger and younger people drinking beer, which is becoming more accepted,” he added.
Beer is as low cost as water
In Germany, the worth of alcohol in relation to the overall prices of residing is among the many lowest in Europe.
Barsch stated alcohol is simply too low cost in Germany. She identified that when a tax was imposed on the sale of alcopops, consumption fell considerably.
“Germany as a wine producing country and with a long beer-tradition as well, certainly runs a high risk of alcohol related problems,” Barsch stated.
“(However) there is a lack of information on how harmful alcohol consumption is, and action to turn around the social norms where alcohol is accepted,” she added.
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