The German government's latest report on drug use has pointed to alcohol abuse among young people as one of the most pressing causes of concern. It also said the use of crystal meth was a localized problem.
Speaking at a press conference in Berlin to present the findings of the annual report, Marlene Mortler, the German government's commissioner for drug -related issues, said that 54 percent of young men and 36 percent of young women consumed alcohol at an unsafe level in 2012.
The report also cited a study by the Robert Koch Institute, which found that more than 31 percent of men between the ages of 18 and 29 and 11 percent of women in the same age group had engaged in binge drinking at least once a month. The institute defines binge drinking as the consumption of six or more alcoholic drinks during a single sitting.
Mortler also said that in 2012 around 26,600 young people between the ages of 10 and 20 were treated in hospital for the effects of alcohol abuse, 4,000 of whom suffered from alcohol poisoning. According to the statistics, about three percent of German adults are considered as addicted to alcohol.
Cannabis the illegal drug of choice
The most popular illegal drug remained cannabis, with 5.6 percent of young people reported to have used it in 2013, slightly up from the 4.6 percent cited one year earlier.
Mortler also pointed to the growing consumption of synthetic drugs such as crystal meth as a cause for concern. However, she said its use was largely centered around Germany's border with the Czech Republic, as well as large urban centers.
The report also found that around 250,000 people between the ages of 14 and 24 were regarded as being addicted to the Internet, with 1.4 million falling into the category of "problematic use" of the Internet.
Tobacco use among young people continued to drop, with just 12 percent sparking up in 2012 - about half as many as in 2001.
pfd/tj (KNA, AFP, dpa)