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Last year almost 25,000 alcohol related ER visits

30 November 2017

New data of the Consumer Safety Institute show that in 2016 in total almost 25,000 people in the Netherlands visit an emergency room after an alcohol related incident: 16,300 for an alcohol related accident or violence, 5,600 because of an alcohol intoxication and between 1,500 and 3,200 for alcohol related self-harm. The number of minors with an alcohol intoxication declined slightly, while there is a remarkable increase in the over-55s. The raise of the alcohol related accidents and intoxications among older people got a lot of attention in the Dutch press.

In 2016, an estimated 16,300 people were treated at an emergency room in response to an accident or assault involving alcohol. Because the involvement of alcohol is not detected or recorded for all emergency room visits, this is an underestimation of the actual number of alcohol-related emergency room visits. Nevertheless, there has been an increase over the past nine years, which is greatest among patients aged 18-24 and 55 years and older. In more than half of the cases, the accident was a private accident (55%, 9,000), such as a fall of the stairs. In more than a third of the cases (36%, 5,800) there was a traffic accident, often a fall of a bicycle. One in every twelve victims had injuries from violence (8%, 1,300).

In 2016 5,600 Dutch people (63% men and 37% women) visited in 2016 the emergency room of a hospital for an alcohol intoxication. More than half was younger than 25.

The New Secretary of State of The Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sports Paul Blokhuis was positive about the slight decline of the number of young people with an alcohol intoxication in 2016 but he was explicitly worried about the growing number of incidents within the group 55 plus. He realized that the new Dutch alcohol policy which his Ministry will develop the coming period should not be only focused on young people but also on older people.

alcoholvergiftigingen-en-ongevallen-met-alcohol-2016_1.pdfalcoholvergiftigingen-en-ongevallen-met-alcohol-2016_1.pdf (422 kB)

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Dutch Institute for Alcohol Policy STAP
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