Alcohol and crystal meth consumption on the rise

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Health risk from alcohol is often underestimated

The German Center for Addiction Issues (DHS) has published the “Yearbook Addiction 2013”. In it, the experts explicitly point out the dangerous tendencies in the often trivialized and underestimated alcohol consumption. Alcohol is one of the most common triggers for hospital deliveries, and even small amounts can have a serious long-term health impact, DHS warns in a recent press release. The yearbook also addresses the risks of the significantly increased consumption of the fashion drug Crystal Meth.

"The diagnosis Mental and behavioral disorders due to alcohol is the third most common in hospital statistics, for men it is the most common diagnosis of inpatients treated in hospital, ”reports the DHS. In addition, according to the experts, there are typical alcohol-related diseases, such as “cirrhosis of the liver, alcohol-related pancreatitis, alcohol-related cancer, and accidents and injuries under the influence of alcohol.” With other drugs, such as crystal meth, the damage to health may be even more dramatic, but in view of the high consumption Alcohol and tobacco remain the drugs with the most far-reaching consequences for public health.

Fashion drug crystal meth on the rise in Germany? But alcohol is by no means the only drug with serious health consequences that is becoming increasingly popular. In a separate article, the DHS is also devoted to the increasing consumption of the fashion drug Crystal Meth. This leads to extreme physical and mental decline and also has an extremely high addiction potential. According to the DHS, the destructive consequences also include increased aggressiveness, violence, delusion of persecution and increased suicides. "In addition, consumption usually leads to clear and sometimes irreversible deficits in cognitive functions," report the addiction experts.

Risks of alcohol consumption underestimated According to the DHS, the biggest problem with alcohol consumption is that most people are not aware of the health risks of alcohol consumption. Because it is not only the frequent drinkers who risk their health. "Already quantities of alcohol, which are considered by most to be low, can - if consumed regularly - damage the organs, increase the risk of cancer and cause cardiovascular diseases such as heart attacks," explain the experts on addiction questions. In view of the average consumption figures given in the “Jahrbuch Sucht 2013”, however, it can be assumed that numerous people in Germany consume an extremely high amount of alcohol each year.

A bathtub full of alcohol per year Including non-drinkers, the average amount of pure alcohol consumed in Germany is 9.6 liters per capita, according to the German Central Office for Addiction Questions. "For each person there are approximately 325 bottles of beer (107.2 liters), 27 bottles of wine (20.2 liters), 5.5 bottles of sparkling wine (4.1 liters) and over 7 bottles of spirits (5.4 liters) “Reports the non-profit organization. "The amount corresponds to the content of a household bath tub, filled to the brim," said the DHS. According to the experts, 74,000 people die annually from the consequences of alcohol consumption alone or in combination with smoking in Germany. Alcohol consumption can only be described as relatively low-risk as long as no more than 12 grams of pure alcohol per day for women and 24 Grams of alcohol a day are consumed by men. However, according to the experts, even a small beer (0.3 liters) already contains around 13 grams of pure alcohol. With a glass of wine (0.2 liters) around 16 grams are reached.

Economic damage in the billions due to alcohol According to the DHS figures, society also causes considerable economic damage as a result of alcohol consumption. Because in Germany the estimated economic costs according to DHS amount to around 26.7 billion euros. For all of Europe, the damage is estimated at around 270 billion euros. “Not only the direct treatment costs of alcohol-related illnesses, but also the economic losses due to absenteeism at the workplace, early retirement and incapacity for work or work are taken into account”.

Improvement in alcohol prevention called for In the opinion of the addiction experts, the negative health and economic consequences of alcohol consumption could be significantly reduced by improved alcohol prevention. With the support of the European Commission, possible efficient preventive measures in 22 European countries were tested and evaluated, whereby the scientists came to the conclusion that "price increases due to tax increases, time restrictions on sales, alcohol levels in road traffic and effective legal regulation of advertising" best suitable preventive measures.

Local increase in crystal consumption limited? In the “Yearbook Addiction 2013”, the DHS is also devoted to the increasing consumption of crystal meth (N-methylamphetamine), which was recorded primarily in Bavaria and Saxony. This drug, which is relatively easy to manufacture, is attributed to the amphetamines and initially shows "a stimulating effect on the central nervous system, increased heart activity and blood pressure, generates feelings of euphoria and increased alertness." According to the police, the drug spreads throughout the year 2011 increased significantly compared to previous years. Here, an increase of 48.8 percent in the seizure volume and 163.7 percent in the first-noticeable drug users was registered. However, the problem remains limited to a few areas in Germany, such as Saxony and the Bavarian-Czech border area.

Representative Studies on the Distribution of Crystal Meth Called In connection with the federal government's addiction report, warned last year that Crystal is currently the most dangerous drug on the market. But before panic is triggered here, according to the DHS, it should first be examined how widespread crystal meth actually is in Germany. So far, the massive increase in crystal consumption has apparently remained regionally limited. Representative studies on the distribution of crystal meth are required to be able to make a statement about the development of crystal consumption, according to the DHS. "Communication via Crystal Meth must also take place in an educational, target-group-specific way." Because - like most psychoactive substances - Crystal is consumed because the consumers expect certain effects from it. "This applies both to the legal substances alcohol and tobacco and to the illegal substances," said the DHS. Crystal might be particularly tempting here, since the spectrum of action is ideally suited to today's requirements: “Always faster, always longer. And always be in a better mood! ”If the consumer behavior of young people is to change here, then“ the social assessment and presentation of success and failure, of work and leisure, of performance and fairness of performance must also change, ”emphasizes the DHS. (fp)

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