A prevalent consumption of wine
This trend, which has deep roots in southern European winemaking culture and traditions, has shown a substantial change over the past decade.At present, however, this modification has not been so significant as to undermine the traditional contribution made in Italy by wine to the daily alcoholic intake (about 75-80% of alcohol consumed).
Despite the significant reduction in consumption recorded in recent years (-33.3% between 1981 and 1998), the average annual per capita consumption of pure alcohol indicates the persistence of consumption among the highest in Europe.
- The exposure of the population to the alcohol risk factor is well evidenced by the number of alcohol-dependent users registered in Italy in 1998 by the Ministry of Health at the services or working groups for alcohol dependence:
- 26,708 alcohol-dependent users (20,567 males, 6,141 females) of 76% of which between the ages of 30 and 59 and about 9% of young people (19-29 years).
- Since 1983, ISTAT has examined alcohol consumption in detail as part of the sample survey on the state of health of the Italian population, coming to estimate the proportion of excessive consumers (defined as such referring to a consumption exceeding 96 g / day) in the population.
The data provided by this survey highlighted a decreasing share of these consumers from the north to the south of the nation (1.8%, 1.6% and 1.0% in the north, center and south, respectively) with prevalence peaks among individuals aged between 45-64, resident in northern mountainous areas and with a low level of education.
- More recent data show a “patchy” Italy with notable regional differences and a substantial uniformity of a greater exposure of the male sex to excessive alcohol consumption phenomena.
- Wanting to refer only to consumers of daily quantities greater than ½ liter of wine (about 50 grams of alcohol), the prevalence recorded by the ISTAT Multipurpose survey in the period 1995-1998 appears to be decreasing both for males (from 12.2 to 9.7% ) and for women (from 1.8 to 1.5%).
The use of the analysis of hospital discharge forms (SDO) can help estimate the impact of “alcoholic” diseases on health services, even if it is often an underestimate.SERTs and the finding of their significant recourse (14%) to hospitalization.
For pathologies or problems which, in 30% of cases, is directly attributable to alcoholic noxa.
Underlines the substantial delay in medical culture and in the socio-health organizational capacity in identifying and managing the individual potentially at risk early, sensitizing him to information interventions (brief intervention), counseling and, possibly, directing him to structures specialized in the recovery and care of alcohol dependent.
The recent approval of the framework law on alcohol and alcohol-related problems (L. 30/3/2001, n.125) underlines the need to reform the university didactic systems relating to the health professions and those of social and psychological address, including in the curricula learning of alcohol.
The need for greater integration between the various public and private social subjects (self-help) reported by the authors could find a desirable and rational application also following the solicitation that the new alcohol law places through an explicit reference to the need for insertion within the regional, provincial and territorial socio-health planning of specific corporate or health, public and private accredited operating units, and of reception structures that dedicate, in the acute and post-acute phase, respectively, the activities aimed at care of the alcohol addict.