Over 860,000 people on Denmark drink more than the recommended amount, data from a YouGov survey conducted on behalf of organisations Alkohol & Samfund and Trygfonden has shown.
The number is increasing with almost 20 percent of the adult population consuming more than what the Danish Health Authority calls the “risk threshold”, meaning their alcohol consumption exceeds what health authorities consider a health amount.
Additionally, two in three people in the survey said they found it difficult to talk to those close to them about their possible excessive drinking.
The survey is based on answers from a representative sample of 2,002 people aged between 30 and 65.
The Danish Health Authority considers the low-risk threshold for illness due to alcohol consumption to be 7 units weekly for women and 14 units weekly for men.
A high-risk level of consumption is 14 or more units per week for women and 21 units or more per week for men.
“The study shows that Danes themselves think we drink too much. But also there are issues with talking about one’s own alcohol habits,” said Bjarne Stenger Elholm, who leads the Alkolinjen helpline run by Alkohol & Samfund.
One in three in the survey said that they have someone in their network who drinks too much, but almost two out of three said it was difficult to broach the subject.
“There are many people who want to help those close to them who drink too much. But it is very difficult for them because they feel either too close or not close enough to that person,” Elholm said.
The helpline leader encouraged those affected to talk more about the issue and stressed that the Alkolinjen helpline is open to both heavy drinkers and to those closest to them.
He also encouraged individual awareness over alcohol consumption, and that loved ones “practice in advance” difficult conversations over the issue.
“Have a caring approach. It’s very difficult for another person not to be affected if you say there’s something concerning you,” he added.
The issue is set to be prominent this week with organisations carrying out annual awareness campaigns in relation to alcohol consumption in Denmark.