Less youthful coma drinkers

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In Bavaria, the number of juvenile binge drinkers has decreased for the first time since 2066

Over the years, the number of juvenile binge drinkers has risen steadily and sparked an intense debate about possible measures to curb alcohol abuse among adolescents. Now the DAK-Gesundheit reports that for the first time since 2006 there were fewer young binge drinkers in Bavaria in 2006. However, more than 5,500 adolescents still ended up in hospital for alcohol poisoning. A number that shows that there is still a need for action here.

With reference to previously unpublished figures from the State Statistical Office, the DAK reports that the number of children and adolescents who had to be hospitalized because of alcohol poisoning fell by 1.5 percent in 2012 compared to the previous year. After six years of steady increase, a decline in the number of juvenile binge drinkers in Bavaria was found for the first time.

More than 5,500 adolescents due to alcohol intoxication in the hospital According to the latest statistics for Bavaria, "a total of 3,446 boys and 2,120 girls in the age group of ten to under 20 year olds were hospitalized with alcohol intoxication last year," the DAK said. With 5,566 people affected, a total of 83 fewer adolescents were treated for alcohol abuse than in 2011. "Both the boys (minus 1.3 percent) and the girls (minus 1.7 percent) declined compared to the previous year," reports the health insurance company. Since 2006, the state statistics have always shown an increase in alcohol abuse among adolescents who are hospitalized. The current decline is therefore quite gratifying, emphasized the head of the DAK health in Bavaria, Gottfried Prehofer. But "we have to continue our prevention work with the young people intensively," Prehofer continues.

Trend reversal in binge drinking or a one-off effect? The DAK expects a slight increase in the number of juvenile binge drinkers in the statistics of the Bavarian State Office, "since so far the children and adolescents from Bavaria who were treated in the other federal states last year" have not yet been taken into account. Thus, the slight decline in juvenile coma drinkers is likely to be slightly less than the already weak 1.5 percent. Whether there is a sustainable turnaround here or only a one-off effect will therefore also be related to future prevention work. According to the DAK, it wants its “multi-award-winning educational campaign colorful instead of blue - art against binge drinking“Continue in 2014. The patronage will be Bavaria's new health minister Melanie Huml.

Prevention campaign “colorful instead of blue” continues The “colorful instead of blue” campaign is based on a nationwide competition in which schoolchildren between twelve and 17 years of age use posters to develop creative messages against intoxication. The DAK in Bavaria is currently writing to and inviting more than 1,900 schools to participate, the health insurance company said. Further information can also be found on the DAK website under the search term "colorful instead of blue". As part of the campaign that has been taking place since 2010, over 52,000 young artists have been able to prove their talent and have also contributed to the prevention of alcohol abuse, reports the DAK. (fp)

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