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Europe on a Binge

John on March 17, 2007 at 11:30 pm

Interesting story from Der Spiegel about the rampant rate of alcoholism and binge drinking in Europe:

The study — which polled 28,584 people between last October and November — found that for young people in particular, the odd drink is not enough to satisfy their thirst: almost one in five between the ages of 15 and 24 consumes five or more beverages in one session, defined as the benchmark for binge drinking.


The study also emphasized that heavy drinking has more consequences than just a hangover the next morning: 195,000 Europeans die annually of alcohol abuse, and every fourth death among young men aged 15-29 is related to drinking. Alcohol also plays a role in 8-10 percent of illnesses and injuries of European citizens. In Britain, half of all violent crime is alcohol related, according to the government.


The European Commission said that about 55 million adults — 10 percent of Europe’s population — drink at harmful levels. This makes the continent the heaviest drinking region in the world, with the average adult consuming the equivalent of 11 liters (23.25 pints) of pure alcohol per year.

That seems like an astounding amount of booze. Eleven liters works out to be three gallons of pure alcohol. If you’re drinking 80 proof vodkas and rums that’s closer to 7 gallons a year. If you’re drinking beer which is closer to 4% alcohol, that’s an amazing 75 gallons of brew per year. And remember that’s only an average European!

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Category: Foreign Affairs |

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