Latvia - Alcohol related harm

Latvia loses nearly 20 thousand years of life and EUR 80 million annually because of problems caused by alcohol: premature deaths, disabilities and all kinds of illnesses, says Marcis Tapencieris, researcher of the Philosophy and Sociology Institute of the University of Latvia.


Measures to reduce the availability of strong alcoholic drinks especially apply to the demographics of young people in the country, because alcohol consumption has the largest negative impact on youngsters’ health. It is also the leading cause of death among young people. This includes alcohol overdose and drunk driving. Habitual consumption of alcohol also causes serious health problems, including cancer. (Source: Baltic News Network).


Addiction treatment

The most patients treated by the Narcology Centre are insolvent and are usually released after the first day after receiving treatment. According to Astrida Stirna, patients are quickly released because they cannot afford treatment. There is no compensated medicine for adult patients of this kind. This makes their treatment even more difficult.


Stirna notes that even if a doctor prescribes medicine, patients often simply cannot afford it. This is often detrimental to the final result of the treatment.


Latvian Medical Association mentions circulation of alcohol among schoolchildren as one of the main problems in Latvia. Statistical data shows that 84% of schoolchildren have consumed alcohol at one point or another. On top of that, teenagers often do not have any problems with procuring alcohol. Approximately one-third of schoolchildren have tried alcohol more than 40 times, which points to the problem of alcoholism. (Source: Baltic News Network).