Alcohol-related hospital treatment is increasing

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More and more people have to be hospitalized because of alcohol-related mental illnesses

Dramatic increase in alcohol-related inpatient hospital treatment in Schleswig-Holstein and Hamburg. The questionable trend that has been observed for years continues according to the current figures from the North Statistics Office. According to this, more and more people have to be treated in hospital because of "mental and behavioral disorders that are caused by the consumption of alcohol." In Schleswig-Holstein, the number of such treatments rose by around three percent in 2011 compared to the previous year, in Hamburg, by as much as ten percent.

In total, more than 13,600 people were treated in hospital in Schleswig-Holstein in 2011 for their alcohol-related mental illnesses. According to the official Zhalen, this applied to around 6,500 people in Hamburg. The medium-term data, which cover the period from 2006 to 2011, show a worrying development. In Schleswig-Holstein, the number of inpatient treatments for alcohol-related mental illnesses has increased by 16 percent since 2006, in Hamburg by 25 percent. Men were affected significantly more often than women (72 percent in Schleswig-Holstein, 73 percent in Hamburg). Approximately half of all inpatient care in Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein was between 40 and 54 years old.

Chronic alcoholism is the most common cause of inpatient treatment Of the alcohol-related hospital stays that ended in 2011, 47 percent (Hamburg 63 percent) of Schleswig-Holstein were diagnosed with a dependency syndrome or chronic alcoholism. In 31 percent of the treatment cases in Schleswig-Holstein (16 percent in Hamburg) acute alcohol poisoning triggered the stay in the clinic and in 16 percent (14 percent in Hamburg) the withdrawal symptoms due to alcohol addiction made hospital treatment necessary. In 2011, there were five alcohol-related hospital treatments for every 1,000 residents in Schleswig-Holstein, and four in Hamburg. While there has been increasing discussion about alcohol problems among young people in recent years, given the high proportion of 40 to 54 year olds, a rethink is urgently needed here in order to reach this age group appropriately with appropriate prevention campaigns. (fp)

Photo credit: A. Reinkober /

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