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STAP Press Release

In 2016 almost 25,000 alcohol related emergency room visits in the Netherlands

New data of the Consumer Safety Institute show that in 2016 in total almost 25,000 people in the Netherlands visit an emergency room after an alcohol related incident: 16,300 for an alcohol related accident or violence, 5,600 because of an alcohol intoxication and between

1,500 and 3,200 for alcohol related self-harm.

The number of minors with an alcohol intoxication declined slightly, while there is a remarkable increase in the over-55s. The raise of the alcohol related accidents and intoxications among older people got a lot of attention in the Dutch press.

Alcohol use and injuries

In 2016, an estimated 16,300 people were treated at an emergency room in response to an accident or assault involving alcohol. Because the involvement of alcohol is not detected or recorded for all emergency room visits, this is an underestimation of the actual number of alcohol-related emergency room visits. Nevertheless, there has been an increase over the past nine years, which is greatest among patients aged 18-24 and 55 years and older.

In more than half of the cases, the accident was a private accident (55%, 9,000), such as a fall of the stairs. In more than a third of the cases (36%, 5,800) there was a traffic accident, often a fall of a bicycle. One in every twelve victims had injuries from violence (8%, 1,300).

Figure 1: Visits emergency room after an alcohol related accident or violence based on age


Source: Consumer Safety Institute Amsterdam; 2017

Alcohol intoxication

In 2016 5,600 Dutch people (63% men and 37% women) visited in 2016 the emergency room of a hospital for an alcohol intoxication. More than half was younger than 25.

Figure 2: Visits emergency room after an alcohol intoxication based on age.


Source: Consumer Safety Institute Amsterdam; 2017

Reaction of the Secretary of State

The New Secretary of State of The Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sports Paul Blokhuis was positive about the slight decline of the number of young people with an alcohol intoxication in 2016 but he was explicitly worried about the growing number of incidents within the group 55 plus. He realized that the new Dutch alcohol policy which

his Ministry will develop the coming period should not be only focused on young people but also on older people.

Wim van Dalen, director STAP

Utrecht, The Netherlands, 5 December 2017

Dutch Institute for Alcohol Policy STAP

Postbus 9769 | 3506 GT | Utrecht | The Netherlands

T: +31 (0)30 6565 041 | M: +31 (0) 6 53295544

E: | twitter: @WimvanDalen


The Dutch Institute for Alcohol Policy STAP is an independent knowledge institute that advocates for effective policy