Prague, Czech Republic – According to a survey released by local health authorities last week, roughly 10% of the Czech population is considered at-risk drinkers, local media reported.
For experts, two drinks per day for men and one daily drink for women is considered risky drinking, which concerns around 1.5 million Czechs, according to their estimates.
Health experts also believe that some 600,000 people drink alcohol on a daily basis in the Czech Republic, based on a survey conducted earlier this year.
Czech citizens, on the other hand, have a more lenient definition of risky drinking: a wide majority of them believe that three or more alcoholic drinks per day (44%) or two-three drinks a day (37%) can be qualified as problematic.
According to the survey, over half of the population drinks alcohol with a low risk (53%), while 28% of Czechs are either moderate consumers or abstainers.
Public authorities have long tried to curb Czechs’ drinking habits, which is among the highest in the world. Famously known for being, by far, the biggest beer drinkers per capita in the world, Czech citizens consume an estimated average of around 13 litres of pure alcohol per year (the 9th highest in the world tied with neighbouring Slovakia).
The Czech government is currently examining different ways to curb the consumption of alcohol, including limiting alcohol advertising and increasing the tax on spirits (the new taxation would however not apply to wine or beer).
According to experts, the social costs associated with excessive drinking exceed 59 billion Kc a year (around €2.35 billion).