Alcohol Abuse Rates in European Countries

Posted in Alcoholism

Roughly 2.5 million people around the world die each year from issues related to alcohol consumption. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that in 2011 51.5 percent of adults 18 years of age or older in the US were regular drinkers. In spite of the common perception that Americans experience more alcohol-related problems than others, people in Europe drink more alcohol than people in any other part of the world. According to the World Health Organization and the European Commission, Europeans drink on average the equivalent of three glasses of wine a day. Though this amount varies from person to person, this much is true of Europe as a whole: harmful alcohol consumption causes a substantial health, social and economic burden. Atlanta residents should think again if they believe Europe’s view on alcohol limits the problems they encounter.

Why Europe Struggles with Alcohol Abuse

In the European Union, alcohol consumption is nearly twice the world average. While alcohol consumption is a part of many cultures, it is deeply integrated into the culture of many European countries. Some families do not eat a meal without alcohol, though preferences like this vary from region to region and family to family. Alcohol is also generally integrated at a younger age in Europe. Not only can Europeans purchase alcohol at a younger age (18) than Americans can (21), but many people are introduced to alcohol during early adolescence. Compared to many places, Europe has liberal views on alcohol consumption, which can both teach responsible drinking and cause a daily battle with it. About half of the European countries have intoxication rates among young people that are higher than the U.S. rates. Atlanta residents may have lower rates of alcohol abuse than Europe, but it is still a problem in this liberal area.

Problems as a Result of Alcohol Abuse

Alcohol is the main cause of liver diseases, including cirrhosis, which leads to loss of liver function. Alcoholism is also associated with a number of other illnesses, physical and psychological, which also require treatment for drinkers to recover. Irresponsible alcohol use results in traffic injuries and fatalities, which beyond the grief they cause, contribute to medical costs and the need for increased law enforcement.

While some Atlanta residents who seek rehab may want to exclude drinking from their lives, for others alcohol consumption is so deeply embedded in their culture that to abstain altogether would be unrealistic. Controlled drinking and moderation are sometimes considered a type of treatment, but for groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous total abstention can help people achieve lifelong sobriety. Alcohol pricing policies, policies about drinking while under the influence of alcohol and age availability regulations all have some effect on the rates of alcohol abuse in European countries.

Alcoholism Help for Atlanta Residents

Treatment for alcohol addiction must include a physical detox stage as well as psychological therapy in order to address a patient’s needs. Atlanta residents who want to recover from this debilitating issue can call our toll-free helpline today to find out how professional, comprehensive treatment can help them recover. Our counselors are available 24 hours a day to help you find the treatment program that is right for you; call today for instant support.