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June 4, 2020 – Germany has one of the highest rates of alcohol consumption in Europe, with drinking occupying a prominent place in national culture through events such as the Oktoberfest beer festival.
According to a recent study by the German Center for Addiction Issues (DHS), three million Germans between the ages of 18 and 64 had an alcohol problem in 2018.
Sales of alcohol rose sharply during the initial phase of the lockdown as many people turned to drinking at home as a substitute for banned social events.
Wine sales at the end of March were 34 percent higher than during the same week in February, and sales of spirits went up 31 percent, according to a study published in the Spiegel magazine.
But the pandemic has also prompted many people to confront problematic alcohol use, whether through increased self-reflection or because family members finally became aware of how much they were drinking, according to the Alcoholics Anonymous spokesman.
“Some people use or abuse the way to work and the workplace as a drinking opportunity, and in many cases this is now no longer available,” he said.