Number of young alcoholics on the rise

The number of alcohol dependent youths in Austria has doubled in the last five years, according to experts at the Wagner Jauregg Clinic in Linz.

Doctors at the clinic treat more than 7,000 people a year – 1,000 of which are admitted. As well as using traditional therapies and medication to treat patients, the clinic also includes occupational therapy in its programme.

Surprisingly young women and girls are among the most affected by alcoholism.

According to the head of the dependency unit, Johannes Böhm, this has a lot to do with the fairer sex being treated on an increasingly equal footing in today’s society. Not only that but youths are coming into puberty and maturing at a much earlier age.

Speaking about the number of young people with alcohol problems, Böhm said: “Unfortunately the number has doubled in the last five years.”

The biggest problem facing alcoholics is falling off the wagon following treatment. According to Böhm, only 15 per cent of patients manage to stay sober in the long term following their first course of treatment.

And that’s despite warnings that continued misuse of alcohol could lead to severe liver damage and cirrhosis.