February the 8th, 2024 – It’s not exactly news that Croats like a drink, but Croatian youth alcohol consumption is alarming, with this country’s young people high on the EU list.
As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, according to a new study by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Croatian youth alcohol consumption levels are concerning. Croatian children between the ages of just 15 and 16 are at the very top of the EU list in terms of their alcohol consumption, as reported by Večernji list.
Almost half of those teenagers (45 percent of them) consumed a large amount of alcohol at least once in the last month. This alarming percentage places Croatian youth alcohol consumption high, with Croatia depressingly up there among the leading EU nations in this regard.
Compared to other countries, the situation in Croatia is extremely poor. In first place in terms of youth alcohol consumption is Denmark, where 51 percent of teenagers consume large amounts of alcohol, and Croatia is in fifth place – only the Germans, Austrians and Slovaks are ahead of the Croats on the chart.
Countries like Norway and Iceland, which are known for their far stricter alcohol control measures, recorded significantly lower percentages of consumption among their young people. Only 16 percent of young Norwegians and 8 percent of young Icelanders reported consuming large amounts of alcohol in the same period.
From Croatia’s neighbouring countries, the list also includes the Hungarians with 42 percent, the Slovenes with 41, the Serbs with 36, the Italians with 35 and the Montenegrins with 28 percent.
The OECD recently conducted another study, according to which Croatian women were also high on the global list when it came to alcohol consumption. In Croatia’s most immediate region, only Slovenian women reportedly consume more alcohol than Croatian women.
According to Katarina Marić Beraković, an alcoholism expert, frequent alcohol consumption among young people can very easily turn into a much more serious addiction. Once a young person starts drinking, you never know if they will stop there and enjoy drinking responsibly, or if they will cross the threshold and step into the world of addiction, from which it is difficult to return.