Tens of millions of Germans have alcohol problems

Tens of millions of Germans have alcohol problems / Health News

Authority warns of underestimated danger: millions of Germans with alcohol problems


According to the Federal Center for Health Education (BZgA), nearly ten million Germans are affected by alcohol problems. According to the BZgA, 1.3 million Germans are even supposed to be dependent. However, as the agency reports, the consequences of alcohol misuse are often downplayed. With the campaign „Alcohol? Know your limit“ The Federal Headquarters is currently touring Germany, stopping in Cologne from 12 to 14 July 2012.

Alcohol abuse causes damage to the brain, liver and myocardial and cancers, according to the BZgA reference to the health consequences of alcohol consumption. „Drink alcohol in hazardous amounts“ By definition, the BZgA is to be equated with an alcohol problem that affects around 9.5 million Germans. 1.3 million Germans are even dependent, so the health center on Wednesday in Cologne. As a speaker of the BZgA announced, there are no comparable estimates for young people. Other studies even assume that already fifth German alcoholic is.

Underestimated health consequences of alcohol consumption
Despite the high number of people affected, the health consequences of alcohol abuse are still underestimated, said Elisabeth Pott, director of the BZgA. For men, 24 grams of pure alcohol are considered safe daily as long as they are consumed on a maximum of five days a week. For women, the limit is only about half as high. „Anything above that is already risky alcohol consumption and can lead to permanent damage to health“, so pot. General will „Alcohol drunk in our society on many occasions: at celebrations and parties, for meals or for relaxation after a hard day“ reports the BZgA, emphasizing that, in principle, there is nothing wrong with it, „Alcohol, when consumed in small quantities, is not harmful to healthy adults.“ However, alcohol makes you dependent on excessive consumption and „pleasure turns into addiction“, so the press release of the Federal Central Office in view of the current stop of the information tour „Alkohhol? Know the limit“ in the Cologne Arcaden.

According to the experts, the frequent consequences of excessive alcohol consumption include damage to the liver, pancreas and brain, which is first noticeable through memory lapses. Likewise, heart muscle and cancer diseases would be favored. According to BZgA, about 74,000 Germans die each year as a result of alcohol abuse or the combination of alcohol and tobacco. „Excessive alcohol consumption can destroy a person's health and life“, so the press release of the BZgA.

Besides physical problems also psychological consequences
In addition to the physical consequences also psychosocial problems occur. Alcoholics usually try to hide their problems first. If relatives and friends notice the disease, it is often already well advanced and the affected person withdraws. Help for people with alcohol problems and their relatives offer addiction counseling and psychosocial counseling, which also help in the search for a place for therapy. The physical withdrawal is usually stationary under medical supervision to treat the sometimes life-threatening withdrawal symptoms with medication. In mild cases, an outpatient withdrawal is possible.

Information about the dangers of alcohol
In the info tour „Alcohol? Know your limit“ Among other things, interested parties receive information on the question of when an alcohol problem can be assumed. In addition, it will be explained, „where the limit of the so-called low-risk, so not harmful to health alcohol consumption, the risky, problematic or even dependent consumption“ runs, reports the BZgA. In addition, there are concrete tips for reducing personal alcohol consumption. Here, too, find affected people where you can get help, if you want to drink less alcohol or seek information and advice on the subject of alcohol dependence. „The dangers of alcohol are enormous. Whether at work, alcohol during breastfeeding or on the road - alcohol consumption requires our attention and caution“, so the warning of the BZgA. (Ag)

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Picture: Gerd Altmann