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Almost 19% of the population aged 15 to 64 drink alcohol above low risk and 5% have a risk consumption

There is a consolidation of the change in the consumption pattern, moving away from traditional daily consumption

18.6 percent of the population aged 15 to 64 years consume alcohol above the level considered low risk, which according to the recent national consensus approved by the Interterritorial Council of the National Health System (SNS), is set at 10 grams / day in women and 20 grams / day in men), according to the Ministry of Health has just published the first edition of the ‘Alcohol Monograph of the Spanish Observatory of Drugs and Addictions’.

Precisely, in this first report, prepared by the Government Delegation for the National Plan on Drugs, it highlights that up to 5.2 percent consume considered risky, with higher figures among younger people and in men, although In the 15-24 age group, the difference between the sexes is much smaller. In addition, in 2018/19, 77.9 percent of students between the ages of 14 and 18 acknowledged having consumed alcohol at some point in their life, 77.5 percent someday in the last year, and 58.5 percent in the last month.

The prevalence of consumption for these sections is, in general, higher in girls than in boys. The start of use in both sexes is at 14 years on average. Likewise, there was a rise in acute alcohol poisoning and binge drinking in all age groups and in both sexes. In the group of minors (14 to 17 years old), 47.1% of the boys and 52.3% of the girls say that they have ever gotten drunk. Specifically, in the 15 and 16-year-old group, the prevalence in the last 30 days was 17%, above the European average of 13%.

“This intensive consumption is associated on many occasions, in addition to the direct effects of alcohol on one’s own physiology and neurological development, to certain risk behaviors,” he points out in a Health note, in which they recall that, according to the World Organization for Health (WHO) every year there are 3 million deaths in the world due to alcohol consumption.

In Spain, between 2010 and 2017 it is estimated that there were an average of 15,489 deaths attributable to alcohol per year, of which 55.7% are premature. The population risk would be at a standardized average annual attributable mortality rate of 40.9 / 100,000 person-years (69.3 / 100,000 in men and 18.1 / 100,000 in women). Of all deaths from all causes, it is estimated that 4% were attributable to alcohol

Other data to highlight are that 2.7% of the students acknowledged having driven a vehicle under the influence of alcohol in the last year, and 17.2% said they had traveled as a passenger in a vehicle driven by someone who was under the influence of alcohol. effects of alcohol (20.5% of girls and 17.2% of boys). In addition, 16.9% say they have been involved in a fight or assault and 30.6% have had sex without a condom in this situation.

It should be noted that 94.9% of students between 14 and 18 years old indicated that they had no difficulty in obtaining alcoholic beverages. 37.7% of the minors accessed alcohol directly, by themselves (29.2%) or through other minors (8.5%).

Health indicates that there is a consolidation of the change in the consumption pattern, moving away from traditional daily consumption. In the general population aged 15 to 64 years, consumption is also high (93% consumed alcohol at some time in their life, 77.2% during the last year and 63% during the last month), a fact that has not decreased in the last twenty years. 8.8% declared consuming daily.

Episodes of heavy drinking are frequent (19.4% got drunk in the last year and 15.4% had episodes of heavy drinking or binge drinking in the last month), greater in men and young people, with an upward trend in In recent years Thus, the working population shows alcohol consumption figures slightly higher than those of the general population, with higher prevalences of daily consumption, which are higher among unemployed persons than among employed persons (10.9% and 9 , 4%, respectively).

A topic of special relevance is the consumption of alcohol during pregnancy, due to the important associated consequences such as Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FADD). In 2019/2020, 1.2% of women acknowledged having consumed alcohol while pregnant, a figure that is considered an underestimation of this worrying phenomenon.

In people over 64 years of age, alcohol consumption is less widespread than in the population aged 15 to 64 years. It is higher among men, and there is a higher daily consumption, more wine consumption, and less intensive consumption (binge drinking, drunkenness and risky consumption of alcohol).

Regarding the pandemic, Health indicates that it is still too early to gauge the long-term impact of COVID-19 on the population’s alcohol consumption patterns, but the available data suggest that, in 2020, it decreased the consumption of alcoholic beverages in both sexes and in all age groups, especially the episodes of intensive consumption were reduced in the younger groups.

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