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More alcoholics are seeking help in the pandemic

Addiction counseling centers are reporting significantly more people seeking help in the corona pandemic, but at the same time reporting underfunding, which in some cases is a threat to their existence. Many of the 1,300 addiction advice centers nationwide are financially shaky, emphasized the German headquarters for addiction issues (DHS). In the corona crisis, the situation worsened in view of growing demand and additional costs. “Sometimes larger rooms have to be rented and groups divided, which requires more staff. Often digital equipment had to be set up without refinancing, ”said DHS Deputy Managing Director Christina Rummel.

The Federal Drug Commissioner Daniela Ludwig (CSU) warned that even with the recently decided further restrictions for November, the supply of addicts must be guaranteed. In the current emergency situation, they are exposed to particular risks and often suffered from other, sometimes severe, mental and somatic illnesses. They are dependent on a functioning network.

According to DHS, there are many reasons for excessive alcohol consumption during the crisis: “Worries about how things will continue in your career, your own future or the future of your relatives play a major role,” says Rummel. Mental stress, isolation and domestic conflicts are factors. Recidivism is a big problem.

The nationwide Blue Cross emphasized that addiction counseling is systemically relevant and also helps to reduce the follow-up costs of alcoholism. Nevertheless, there is no reliable funding. State funds are nowhere near enough, and only a few bodies are supported by local authorities. “The problems of those seeking help are growing”, emphasized the Blue Cross Wuppertal. There are fatal consequences to be feared if one had to stop offers.

On November 4th, a nationwide “Addiction Counseling Day” is to be held to finance and secure the future of the offer – under the patronage of the drug commissioner Ludwig.

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