• Germany's news in English
 
Half of young Germans binge drink regularly
The report shows almost half of young people in Germany are drinking to excess at least once a month. Photo: DPA

Half of young Germans binge drink regularly

Published: 07 Apr 2014 13:52 GMT+02:00

The study from the government's drugs commissioner, which surveyed the alcohol consumption habits of 5,000 young people in 2012, showed 44 percent of 18 to 25 year olds drinking heavily at least once a month.

It also found 17 percent of 12-17-year-olds drank to excess every month.

Drugs commissioner Marlene Mortler said the widespread overuse of alcohol among young people represented a "substantial health risk," highlighting that in the past year over 26,000 young people had had to be treated in German hospitals for alcohol poisoning.

"It is time we had a society-wide rethink towards more responsible consumption of alcohol,” she said.

The results of the same survey from 2010 showed 18 percent of 12-17-year-olds and 42 percent of 18-25s drinking to excess every month.

But director of the Federal Centre for Health Information (BZgA), Professor Elisabeth Pott, said the survey also showed some encouraging statistics.

"More and more 12-17-year-olds are going without alcohol altogether,” she said. “Thirty percent said they had never drank alcohol in their lives." Ten years ago that figure was just 13 percent.

But the overall upward trend in frequency and amount of youth drinking shows no sign of turning around.

The study found 32 percent of over-16s drinking alcohol at least once a week and consumption of dangerously high amounts remains just as common as in 2010, according to Pott.

Since 2009 the BZgA have worked together with the Society of Private Health Insurers (PKV) on a prevention campaign called "Alcohol? Know your Limit."

PKV boss Volker Leienbach claimed 80 percent of young people and young adults were already familiar with the campaign.

"It was always clear to us that it would take time to change attitudes to alcohol in society,” he said.

"That's why the private insurers will continue supporting the "Know your Limit" campaign in the coming years."

Meanwhile the BZgA said it would be putting more emphasis on its prevention efforts in schools with ploys such as a new educational DVD.

SEE ALSO: Patient arrives for liver op with bottle of vodka

For more stories about Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Drug-related crimes hit ten-year high
Photo: DPA

Drug-related crimes hit ten-year high

The Criminal Investigation Department (BKD) released figures on Tuesday showing that cases of drug-related crimes have risen to the highest number in a decade. READ  

Germany has second-highest surplus in EU
Photo: DPA

Germany has second-highest surplus in EU

Germany reported the second-largest government surpluses as a percentage of GDP in the EU last year and was one of only four countries to stay in the black, according to a report published on Tuesday. READ  

Church fires woman for secret porn career
Photo: DPA

Church fires woman for secret porn career

A woman has taken her former employers, a protestant social welfare organization, to court after they fired her upon discovering she had appeared in porn films. The court rejected her appeal. READ  

Merkel and Tsipras in new one-on-one meet
Merkel and Tsipras at a previous meeting in Berlin in March. Photo: DPA

Merkel and Tsipras in new one-on-one meet

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras will meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel Thursday on the sidelines of an EU summit, the Athens government said as it continues to wrangle with creditors over a new rescue package. READ  

Opinion
Stop mass deaths in the Mediterranean
Photo: Greek defence ministry/DPA

Stop mass deaths in the Mediterranean

After a boat with more than 900 people on board sank off the Libyan coast on Sunday, Amnesty International's General Secretary for Germany Selmin Çalışkan calls for change in Europe's Mediterranean policy. READ  

Auschwitz defendant admits 'moral guilt'
Oskar Gröning in court in Lüneburg on Tuesday. Photo:DPA

Auschwitz defendant admits 'moral guilt'

Former SS officer Oskar Gröning, dubbed the "accountant of Auschwitz," asked for "forgiveness" over his role in mass murder at the Nazi death camp, as his trial began on Tuesday. READ  

Second World War still key to German identity
US army tanks roll into Cologne. Photo:DPA

Second World War still key to German identity

Seventy years after the end of the Second World War, Germans still feel that they deal with its legacy in everyday life, a survey published on Tuesday shows. READ  

Drugged teenager in high speed Munich chase
Photo: DPA

Drugged teenager in high speed Munich chase

Police in Munich reported on Monday that they had caught a 16-year-old who raced through the city at up to four times the speed limit, on drugs, in a car with stolen number plates – and without a valid driver's license. READ  

How NHS reform will cost Brit expats dear

How NHS reform will cost Brit expats dear

British people living in other European countries could find themselves forced to take out private health insurance due to a clampdown on expats using the country’s National Health Service (NHS).  READ  

Euro parliament leader warns of new shipwrecks
Refugees being picked up by a German freighter in January. Photo: DPA

Euro parliament leader warns of new shipwrecks

“If we don't act now, we'll experience more tragedies” like the one that killed 950 people off the Libyan coast last weekend, European Parliament president Martin Schulz warned on Tuesday. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Politics
A Greek learning politics in Germany
Features
The battle of the "Gates of Berlin"
National
Germany's favourite baby names of 2014
National
Germany's 'very poor' lobbying record
National
VIDEO: Mario Draghi suffers anti-ECB confetti attack
Politics
Merkel's 15 years at the top of German politics
Shutterstock
Sponsored Article
10 things you didn’t know about Zagreb (and why you should go)
Features
Spice up asparagus season with The Local's serving suggestions
Sponsored Article
What expat parents should ask before choosing a school
Travel
Lowest of the low: how woman exploited Germanwings crash
Sport
Football and the €30,000 firework
Technology
Why scientists oppose killer robots
National
Germanwings co-pilot 'searched suicide info'
Technology
Electrifying 'Ostalgia'
National
Which city is Germany's worst for drivers?
National
'Cannibal cop' gets 8 years
Can the 'nightmare' of a pilot downing a plane be prevented?
National
LIVE: Co-pilot suspected of crashing plane
Pupils mourn lost classmates
National
Freed after 25 years on death row
National
Cologne Cathedral returns from space
Features
Paddy's Day, Berlin style
Is your workload 'out of control'? You're not alone...
National
Why east Germans are happy to get it on on camera
National
What would you do with a 250-year-old pretzel?
Features
Just why is the German flag Schwarz, Rot, Gold?
Business & Money
Getting German workers and bosses thinking positive
National
Uplifting thoughts to get you through the last week of winter
National
Who wants the Olympics more - Hamburg or Berlin?
National
Last-minute drama of Germany's Eurovision 2015 entry
National
German photographer takes world's top prize
Features
Meet the woman getting Germans to drink more – and better – beer
Gallery
Get inspired for International Women's Day with German heroes
Green party proposes first-ever cannabis legalization plan
Gallery
In pictures: Germany's seven most livable cities
National
Singapore canes Germans for train graffiti
Politics
Surprise! Germans love feeling like they run the EU
Politics
Anger over plan to show women what men earn
Travel
Munich tram fans bicker over new bell
Features
Kafka: puzzling translators 100 years on
Business & Money
France or Germany: Which country really is the best country to work in?
Photo: Police
Rhineland
Student driver crashes tank into family garden.
Photo: DPA
Politics
There was a notable absence at the Anti-Semitism Commission
National
How Dresden bombing still divides Germany, 70 years on
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Take a cute break with this gallery of baby animals
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

7,221
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd