Dresden: Over 100 Dresden children and young adults in hospital due to alcohol poisoning

More than 100 Dresden children and youth hospitalized due to alcohol poisoning

Stress, anxiety and the desire to “be calm”: Thousands of Dresden residents regularly drink alcohol. The latest figures show that even children are hospitalized with alcohol poisoning.

Time and time again people have to be treated in the hospital.
© Photo: Silas Stein / D

Dresden. After work beer, sparkling wine for a colleague’s birthday, eggnog with grandma: alcohol is part of the daily life of many Dresden residents. This week, a prevention campaign will draw attention to the fact that consumption can also be dangerous. Among others, at the Neustadt train station and at Wiener Platz. The latest figures from the Ministry of Health confirm this.

How many Dresden drink alcohol regularly?

“How often do you drink alcohol like wine, beer, liqueur or liqueur?” The city wanted to know in its last representative citizen survey of 6,000 Dresden residents. Most, just under 30 percent, answered that they drink something two to four times a month. A quarter gets to the bottle two or three times a week and ten percent at least four times a week or more. Frequent use increased by one percentage point compared to the 2014 survey. Only 13 percent abstain completely from alcohol. Statisticians in the city administration did not ask for the reasons.

Half of those surveyed admitted having had six or more alcoholic drinks in an evening. This happens every week for three percent and almost every day for one percent of 16 to 90-year-olds. One percent, which equates to about 4,700 Dresdeners. The city is talking about excessive behaviour.

How many minors end up in hospital?

Dresden is involved in the so-called Hult Project. This stands for “Hart am Limit” and is an alcohol abuse prevention program for children and young adults. According to the city, quite a few consume so much alcohol that they have to go to the hospital with symptoms of intoxication. As part of the project, Dresden clinics reported 112 admissions to the Ministry of Health last year, including 36 girls who required medical help as a result of alcohol intoxication. The age range was from 11 to 17 years.

How many Dresden residents had to go to the clinic in total?

Alcohol abuse is also a top priority in so-called substance-related hospitalization among adults. In current statistics for 2021, that percentage made up about 74 percent, according to the Ministry of Health. This is followed by inpatient treatment for polymorphism by about nine percent, for crystal by seven percent and for cannabis by about five percent.

The Ministry of Health says: “Regular consumption of alcohol is socially acceptable to a large extent, but it is always risky. Cytotoxic alcohol affects brain cells, which then send information more slowly.” Alcohol consumption not only has consequences for the person who drinks, but also affects those around them. Moreover, regular consumption of alcohol also carries the risk of long-term consequences, such as an increased risk of developing various types of cancer, a permanent attack on the cardiovascular system or the development of dependence.

Why do people drink so much alcohol?

Social workers Linda Knechtel, Fanny Klemm and Anne Grotzsch of Diakonie’s Addiction Prevention Team note that stress and “the desire to be nice” are motives for young people to drink alcohol. You work a lot in schools on prevention projects. The goal is not to work with the raised index finger, but to start a conversation with girls and boys. Also on the risk of consumption.

“Alcohol is often underrated, it is part of the family in some families, and the grandmother offers the child eggnog at the youth initiation party, without wanting anything bad,” says social worker Knechtel. Clinical admission may occur in adolescents in particular, as they still have little experience with the substance or drink on an empty stomach.

Social workers Anne Grötzsch, Arian Speer and Fanny Klemm (left) of SafeDD and Diakonie's specialist prevention team explain alcohol abuse at Neustadt train station.

Social workers Anne Grötzsch, Arian Speer and Fanny Klemm (left) of SafeDD and Diakonie’s specialist prevention team explain alcohol abuse at Neustadt train station.
© Sven of Lime

SafeDD social workers, who do street social work specific to addiction, note that people sometimes “get out” of problems like unemployment or homelessness with alcohol. “We have recently noticed the emergence of myths related to corona that alcohol helps fight the virus,” says social worker Ariane Speer, who is also participating in Prevention Week with colleagues.

How many addicts can be helped?

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In the six addiction counseling centers in Dresden, there was a decrease in the number of cases in 2020 with 3,215 counseled cases. In 2019, there were still 3,533. As in previous years, alcohol-related concerns dominated the counseling process with a share of about 48 percent, followed by concerns about the use of illicit drugs around 40 percent, pathological gaming behavior (5.3 percent) and problematic use of media (4.8%).

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