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Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Youth binge drinking rises sharply in Germany: study
5 May 08

More German teenagers are ending up in the emergency room amid a sharp increase in binge drinking last year among the country's youth, according to a government study released on Monday.

Children between the ages of 12 and 17 years old consumed an average of 50 grammes of pure alcohol each week in 2007, according to the German government's annual report on drugs and addiction. Children in 2006 consumed 34 grammes of pure alcohol each week.

And 26 percent of German children in the study reported binge drinking - consuming five or more drinks in a row - last year, an increase from the 20 percent who reported binge drinking in 2006.

The number of hospital visits due to alcohol overconsumption among Germans aged 10 to 20 has also more than doubled since 2000, according to the report. Some 19,500 German youth in that age group were hospitalized after drinking - including 663 in Berlin alone between April and December last year.

"We cannot underestimate the influence of alcohol advertising that often targets youth culture and images," German Drug Commissioner Sabine Bätzing said, criticizing companies for not showing the negative effects of drinking to excess.
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