Lithuanians Drink Less?

man shows no alcohol

Last year, Lithuanians consumed less alcohol than in any other year over the last decade. However, not everyone is convinced the statistics are accurate, writes According to the State Data Agency (VDA), residents of Lithuania over the age of 15 consumed on average 11 litres of legal alcohol last year. This is 0.2 litres less than in 2022.

According to VDA spokeswoman Daiva Jurelevičienė, the largest proportion of alcohol consumed was spirits. The biggest increase was in beer sales. Compared to 2022, sales increased by 6 percent.

Notably, due to hikes in excise duties, the price of alcohol rose by as much as 11 percent last year.“Beer produced in Lithuania increased in price the most last year, by almost 15 percent,” Jurelevičienė said. Imports of alcoholic beverages increased by 14.5 percent last year. At the same time, the production of alcoholic beverages in Lithuania declined, the agency noted.

Antanas Matulas, chairman of the parliamentary Health Affairs Committee, welcomed the data: “Finally, Lithuania will no longer be called a drunken nation or one of the world’s leading drinkers.” MP Rimantė Šalaševičiūtė, a member of the Committee, questioned the statistics since the data did not include alcohol purchased abroad, for example, in Poland. Due to lower prices, many Lithuanians go across the border for shopping. MP Aurelijus Veryga pointed out that the figures did not reflect illegally imported and home-made alcohol.

According to the Institute of Hygiene, 27,000 people were diagnosed with at least one condition directly related to alcohol consumption last year, or 2,000 more than in 2022.

There were 944 persons diagnosed with alcohol-related diseases per 100,000 population (885 in 2022). The most common diagnoses were alcohol dependence (688.1 cases per 100,000), alcohol toxicity (150.9 cases), liver disease (125.2 cases) and alcoholic psychosis (82.3 cases).

According to the Institute of Hygiene, 625 people died from diseases directly related to alcohol consumption, 21 fewer than in 2022. Preliminary data suggest that in 2023, the alcohol-related mortality rate for men was 2.3 times higher than for women.