According to a survey by the European Commission (EC), Spain is among the worst European countries for the abuse of alcohol, only Ireland, Romania, Germany and Austria have a worse record. The survey, which considers “abusive” consumption as drinking at least five standard measures of alcoholic beverage a day, such as beer, wine or spirits, reveals that this practice is not confined to a specific region of the European Union (EU) and notes that the population group in which the most abuse takes place is in young people between 15 and 24.
In Spain, 34 out of 100 people surveyed have at least five glasses of alcohol in the same day, either once or several times a week, above the European average of 29%. Only results obtained from Ireland (44%), Romania (39%), Germany and Austria (36%) are worse, while the UK rate is the same as in Spain. Also, 22% of the Spanish respondents said that they normally consume five to six alcohol drinks on any day that they drink, above the 18% average of all EU citizens.
By age, young people between 15 and 24 are the most abusive drinkers, with 25% of Europeans in this age group admit to taking five glasses of alcohol at least once a week, while 8% say they do so more than once – the survey does not provide data for individual countries in this field.
Also, Europeans aged over 55 years are the group that consume alcohol the most often, the EU warns that this constitutes a “risk factor” for the increase of chronic diseases in the current aging population.
Regarding gender distribution, the abuse of alcohol is significantly more common among men (36%) than women (19%). 44% of European women drinkers said they never consumed more than five alcoholic drinks in the same day, a figure that reduced to 26% for men.