SBinge drinking, also known as binge drinking, has long been a disturbing trend among children and teenagers. On Tuesday, the commercial health insurance company KKH released figures that show a reversal of the trend. The number of alcohol poisonings among twelve to 18-year-olds fell to a record low in 2022. According to the KKH report, in 2022, an extrapolated 10,680 children and young people aged 12-18 years were treated for acute alcohol poisoning in a nationwide clinic. This is five percent less than in 2021 and 13 percent less than in 2020.

The difference is particularly noticeable compared to the pre-corona year 2019. Here, the KKH recorded a 40.5 percent drop. This means that cases of excessive alcohol consumption requiring inpatient treatment not only fell for the third year in a row in the age group looked at, but also fell to the lowest level since 2006, when the first study was conducted. KKH recorded the previous highest value in 2012, with approximately 22,260 cases.

For the evaluation, the Health Insurance Fund used the data of its twelve- to 18-year-old insured persons on hospitalization due to acute alcohol poisoning. He then extrapolated the results to the population of that age group using data from the Federal Bureau of Statistics.

Peer pressure often plays a role

Concretely, this means the following: According to the data of our own insured persons, in 2022 the proportion of those who were hospitalized due to alcohol poisoning was slightly less than 0.07 percent of all patients. Extrapolating to the entire German population, just over 58,000 people were treated in 2022. According to the results of our own insured persons, the share in the age range of 12-18 years was almost 18.4 percent. Thus, KKH came out with about 10,680 cases nationwide. There were 212 people insured at the KKH. In 2019, according to the KKH, the proportion of young people among the sick was still more than 22 percent. In 2006 – at the beginning of the survey – it was still over 24 percent.

The Federal Center for Health Education (BZgA) defines binge drinking as the consumption of at least five alcoholic beverages. Peer pressure often plays a role. In addition, alcohol is an escape for many people – for example, when they are stressed or trying to suppress negative feelings.

KKH psychologist Franziska Klemm spoke of a “very happy result”. Acute alcohol poisoning is a “life-threatening condition” that one gets into voluntarily, Klemm told FAZ. In addition to the direct physical consequences, such as breathing pauses and accompanying brain damage, excessive alcohol consumption also makes young people more susceptible. to other threats, including violence, sexual assault and accidents at work Traffic. He attributes the decline to, among other things, the successful education of health insurance funds and federal agencies such as the Federal Center for Health Education.

That said, there's still no reason to clear everything up. We have already come a long way in the field of alcohol prevention and we know “what adjustment screws” exist. It's about “learning the limits of your behavior and dealing with it in the least risky way possible,” Klemm explained. This needs to be taught to more young people – both at school and at home.

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