Study: Many alcoholics in the north and east

Status: December 26, 2021 11:13 a.m.

In Bremen and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania there are significantly more alcoholics than the national average. This is the result of an investigation by the Barmer health insurance company. Nationwide, more than 1.1 million people were addicted to alcohol in 2020.

According to a study, there are significantly more alcoholic people in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and Bremen than the national average. This emerges from an evaluation by the Institute for Health System Research of the Barmer Krankenkasse, as reported by the editorial network Germany.

According to this, doctors diagnosed alcohol dependency in 21 in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and in Bremen even in 22 per 1000 people last year. The national average is 14 alcoholics per 1,000 people.

High rate in East Germany

It is noticeable that the rate of alcoholics is comparatively high in all eastern German states. In Saxony 19 per 1000 people are affected, in Berlin, Brandenburg, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia 17 per 1000.

In addition to Bremen, the front runners in the west are Hamburg (18 per 1000) and Schleswig-Holstein (17 per 1000). This is followed by Lower Saxony (14), Bavaria (13) as well as North Rhine-Westphalia, Hesse, Baden-Württemberg and Saarland, each with twelve per 1000 people. The lowest proportion of alcoholics was in Rhineland-Palatinate with eleven per 1,000 people.

“The massive regional differences in alcohol addiction cannot be explained purely from a medical point of view. Socio-demographic factors are also likely to play a role here,” said senior physician Ursula Marschall.

Second half of life and generation of baby boomers

A total of 820,000 men and 329,000 women in Germany were proven to be alcohol-dependent last year, making a total of around 1.1 million people. This mainly affects people in the second half of life. “Alcoholism usually manifests itself over many years and occurs primarily in the baby boomer generation of the 1950s and 1960s,” emphasized Marschall. At that time, alcohol had a different status. Today, however, the risks are much more in the foreground in society.

Nevertheless, the number of people diagnosed with alcohol dependence has risen from 1.09 to 1.15 million over the past five years.

Minimal decline due to pandemic

From 2019 to 2020 there was a minimal decrease. This can presumably be traced back to the corona pandemic and the fact that fewer people have sought medical help. As a result, some cases went undetected, emphasized the doctor.

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