The Yearbook Addiction of the German Main Office for Addiction Issues e.V. (DHS) provides every year the latest figures on addiction.
In addition to alcohol, tobacco and drugs, pathological gambling is one of the main research areas of the association. Compared to the previous year, gambling-related illnesses were almost equally frequent.
Gambling addiction ranks in the rear
The German Department of Addiction lists gambling addiction and other gambling-related disorders far behind other addictions. However, problems with alcohol or nicotine are much more socially accepted than gambling. According to the DHS, the leaders are the following areas:
The legal drugs alcohol, tobacco and medicines are responsible for most of the addiction problem in Germany.
The numbers in the area of gambling addiction have been steadily declining since 2009. For 2017/2018, the DHS calculated for the so-called “problem gambling”, a precursor to gambling addiction, a share of 0.56% of the German population. This corresponds to about 326,000 people. By contrast, 0.31% of Germans are affected by “pathological gambling”, a serious clinical picture known as gambling addiction. This corresponds to about 180,000 people. For comparison: 1.77 million people in Germany suffer from alcohol addiction.
Counseling offers are more frequent
The incidence, also called prevalence, with the gambling addiction in Germany occurs, is approximately stable according to findings of the Yearbook addiction. The number of people who suffer from a pathological clinical picture has even fallen by around 35,000 compared to the previous year (2017: 215,000 people).
Despite these developments, the German Center for Addiction Issues noted a slight increase in the use of counseling services on gambling addiction. Among the people who visited a counseling center in 2017/2018, 72.3% were gamblers. They still represent the largest group.
The increase in people providing assistance or counseling is an important indicator of the success of the efforts of policy-makers, industry associations and operators. They all engage in responsible gaming. Together, they strive to provide vulnerable players with a catalog of assistance. With the help of preventive measures, information days and campaigns it can be prevented that an addiction illness breaks out.
Every third German has already gambled
In life, 75.3% of Germans have ever gambled in their lives. Among them are also the unique trial, hobby games in private and overall unremarkable gaming behavior. Calculated over the last 12 months, 37.3% of Germans have participated in a game of chance.
As a study by the Department of Addiction Prevention Berlin in the fall of 2017 found, even children and adolescents often already have experience with the subject of gambling. Thus, the researchers found that already one in three students in Berlin has already participated in gambling on the Internet in their lifetime.
Alcohol is the nation’s number 1 drug in Germany
By far the largest addiction problem in Germany is still alcohol according to DHS. DHS CEO Raphael Gaßmann said:
Alcohol is by far the most massive problem.
Although per capita consumption has fallen by 1.25% to 133.8 liters, it is still at an extremely questionable level, as the DHS warned. During the investigation period, around 3.38 people were affected by alcohol-related problems. 1.77 million people suffer from alcohol dependence. This causes around 74,000 deaths each year.
The consumption of tobacco increased by 3% compared to the previous year. The Drug Dependence category has the most problems associated with sleeping pills. Between 1.2 and 1.5 million people suffer from an addiction here. In the area of illicit drugs cannabis leads the list.