Berlin - The number of alcohol addicts in Germany has increased significantly within few years - to around 1.8 million. Young adults under 25 are increasingly dependent on alcohol, as new survey by the Institute for Therapy Research in Munich shows. Another 1.6 million adults have alcohol abuse, but are not considered dependent according to official criteria. A total of 7.4 million German citizens drink more than the maximum amount recommended by experts.
Key figures of the study "Epidemiological Addiction Survey" with data from 2012 were made public by the green drug expert Harald Terpe. Terpe was alarmed. Since 2006, the number of alcohol addicts has risen by 36 percent. At that time it was still 1.3 million.
According to the study, total of around 5.6 million are dependent on tobacco . The authors of the study point out that tobacco is the most common of all addictive substances, but is rarely treated in addiction care.
According to the survey, 319,000 adults are dependent on illegal drugs. At least 2.3 million people are dependent on painkillers, sleeping pills, or sedatives. Elderly people in particular ran the increased risk of suffering damage due to the prescription of several drugs in parallel and because of the long duration of intake.
The authors of the study write: "The high prevalence of mental disorders caused by alcohol and tobacco makes it clear that it is urgent to implement effective preventive measures." Drug abuse should also more attention. Terpe called on the new Minister of Health Hermann Gröhe (CDU) to “devote more energy to addiction prevention and therapy than his predecessor”.
“These numbers hide numerous family tragedies, because their addicts suffer too Families and especially the children, ”said Terpe. Often addicts waited months for treatment to be approved. "Even between detoxification and therapy, there are often waiting times of weeks."
The Federal Ministry of Health emphasized that the average alcohol consumption had also decreased. Reducing alcohol abuse is priority for the government. Last year, the health department sponsored corresponding projects with 1.3 million euros.