Croatian Alcohol Consumption Remains Concerning

Lauren Simmonds

croatian alcohol consumption

March the 21st, 2024 – It’s no secret that the majority of Croats like a drink – but how much is too much? Croatian alcohol consumption has continued causing concern when it comes to just how many people in this country drink daily.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, alcohol abuse remains a growing problem across Croatia, which has unfortunately found itself listed among the top five countries in Europe in terms of daily alcohol consumption. As if that wasn’t enough, the number of young people who consume alcohol regularly is also very worrying, as was pointed out at a recently held round table called: “Alcohol as a public health problem”.

At the round table held in the Education Centre of the Croatian Institute of Public Health (HZJZ), it was pointed out that this trend requires urgent attention and ideas on to change it were exchanged and explored.

It was stated that alcohol abuse represents one of the most serious health problems of modern society, appearing more and more often in the general population, with alcohol being consumed much earlier in life.

The specific problems associated with alcohol consumption vary worldwide, and the burden of disease and mortality on the population is significant in most countries. Croatian alcohol consumption is a deep worry, with the country being among the top five in Europe in terms of daily consumption.

According to the data of the European Health Survey for 2019, Croatia is among the first five countries in terms of daily consumption of alcoholic beverages, with a prevalence above 10 percent, together with France, Bulgaria, Spain and Portugal.

This data is exceptionally worrying, because alcoholism isn’t only a problem for individuals, but has wider consequences for families, healthcare systems and society as a whole, the round table warned.

The harmful use of alcohol, or alcohol abuse, is one of the main risk factors for the development of disease, disability and death, and carries with it a number of serious health consequences, including liver disease and failure, heart disease, psychological disorders and injuries sustained while under the influence.

Alcohol consumption among young people

It’s interesting that according to some indicators of the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children survey conducted back in 2022, girls (students) overtook boys (also students) for the first time since way back in 2002.

41.5 percent of boys and a higher 45 percent of girls at the age of 13 had consumed alcoholic beverages at least once in their lives, followed by 66 percent of teenage boys and 71 percent of teenage girls at the age of 15.

Very early contact with alcoholic beverages, at the very young age of 11, was still more common among boys than girls, with 23 percent of boys compared to 15 percent of girls having done this. Girls under the age of 15 overtook boys in overall drinking, meaning that 43.0 percent of girls had gotten drunk at least once in their lives, while the same applies to 42.5 percent of boys under the age of 15.

Informing young people and the entire population, as well as educating and actively raising public awareness of the consequences of excessive alcohol consumption are highlighted as some of the preventive measures necessary to combat Croatian alcohol consumption as it currently stands.

The participants of the round table concluded that it is necessary to employ psychologists in schools in order for the system to deal more adequately with the problem of Croatian alcohol consumption among children. In addition, screening of risks for mental health issues carried out by school doctors during systematic examinations in the 8th and 1st grades of high school was also highlighted.


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