Tens of millions of Germans have alcohol problems



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

According to the Federal Center for Health Education (BZgA), almost ten million German citizens are affected by alcohol problems. According to the BZgA, 1.3 million Germans are even said to be dependent. However, as the agency reports, the effects of alcohol abuse on health are often downplayed. With the campaign “Alcohol? Know Your Limit ”, the Federal Headquarters is currently touring across Germany, stopping in Cologne from 12 to 14 July 2012.

Alcohol abuse causes damage to the brain, liver, heart muscle and cancer, according to the BZgA's advice on the health consequences of alcohol consumption. According to the BZgA's definition, “drinking alcohol in quantities that are hazardous to health” is to be equated with an alcohol problem that affects around 9.5 million Germans. 1.3 million Germans are even dependent, the health center on Wednesday in Cologne. As a spokeswoman for the BZgA announced, there are no comparable estimates for young people. Other studies even assume that the fifth German is already alcoholic.

Underestimated health consequences of alcohol consumption
Despite the high number of people affected, the health consequences of alcohol abuse are still underestimated, explained Elisabeth Pott, director of the BZgA. For men, 24 grams of pure alcohol per day are considered harmless to health as long as they are consumed a maximum of five days a week. The limit for women is only about half as high. "Anything above that is already risky alcohol consumption and can lead to long-term health damage," said Pott. In general, “Alcohol is drunk in our society on many occasions: at celebrations and celebrations, at meals or for relaxation after a hard day”, the BZgA reports and emphasizes that there is basically no objection to this, “because alcohol is enjoyed in small quantities, not harmful for healthy adults. "However, alcohol makes you addicted if you consume it too much and" pleasure becomes addiction, "said the press release from the Federal Center in view of the current stop of the information tour" Alcohol? Know the limit ”in the Köln Arcaden.

According to the experts, the frequent consequences of excessive alcohol consumption include damage to the liver, pancreas and brain, which is initially noticeable through memory gaps. Heart muscle and cancer diseases would also be favored. According to the BZgA, around 74,000 Germans die each year from the consequences of alcohol abuse or from the combination of alcohol and tobacco. "Excessive alcohol consumption can destroy a person's health and life," says the BZgA press release.

In addition to physical problems, there are also psychological consequences
In addition to the physical consequences, psychosocial problems also arise. 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 is provided by addiction counseling centers and psychosocial counseling centers, which also help with the search for a therapy place. Physical withdrawal is usually carried out in hospital under medical supervision to treat the sometimes life-threatening withdrawal symptoms with medication. In lighter cases, outpatient withdrawal is possible.

Information about the dangers of alcohol
In the info tour "Alcohol? Know your limit ”, interested parties receive information, among other things, on the question of when to start with an alcohol problem. The BZgA reports that "where the border runs from so-called low-risk alcohol consumption, which is not harmful to health, to risky, problematic or even dependent consumption". There are also specific tips for reducing personal alcohol consumption. Those affected can also find information on where to get help if you want to drink less alcohol or are looking for information and advice on the subject of alcohol addiction. “The dangers of alcohol are enormous. Whether at work, alcohol while breastfeeding or on the road - alcohol consumption requires our attention and caution, ”the BZgA warned. (ag)

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Image: Gerd Altmann / pixelio.de

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