Reasearch - euPrevent SNA about addiction

09 feb 2021

Are young people only gaming and most people over 55 drink too much? That certainly is a cliché but what about reality? Fortunately, things are not that bad. However, findings from Euregional research of our Interreg Euregio Meuse-Rhine project euPrevent SNA ('euPrevent Social Norms Approach) clearly shows that not everything is going well. 

From October 2019 to January 2020, 11 partners from the Euregio Meuse-Rhine (EMR) and the West-Eifel (DE) carried out a study as part of the Interreg Euregio Meuse-Rhine project euPrevent SNA. In this study, they looked at the consumption behavior of young people (12-26 years) and people over 55 from the EMR and the West Eifel. Young people were asked about their own behavior and what they think their peers do when it comes to the use of alcohol, cannabis, and gaming. The questions for the over-55s were more so focused on alcohol and medication use. The study involved 4,878 young people and 3,122 people over 55.

Influence on society

Figures from treatment centers, population studies, and health statistics show that we as a society struggle with dealing with products such as alcohol and medicines. In our day-to-day life, we notice that these products play a role in, for example, traffic accidents, the occurrence of (domestic) violence, and sickness.

A selection of the research results

The results of this research show that it is not all bad. It turns out that 37% of the over-55s surveyed never drink alcohol, or at least have not drunk any alcohol at all in the last month. Nearly a third of the over-55s drank alcohol at most once a week. The vast majority (97% of the over-55s) have never been drunk or at least not in the past month. As many as 97% of the over-55s are consciously engaged in the responsible use of medicine.

The youth survey tells us that almost a third of the young people surveyed have never drunk alcohol and that another third only drinks occasionally, but has not done so in the past month. The majority of the young people surveyed (78%) have never used cannabis. Almost a quarter of young people are never gaming.

This being said, young people, as well as the over-55-year-old respondents, assess the use of substances and the tendency towards addiction more negatively when asked about their peers. The main results of the study are now available in the online Euregional Health Atlas.

Euregional awareness campaign

With these research results in mind, euPrevent SNA will create a Euregional awareness campaign to positively inspire people to choose a healthier lifestyle. The Euregional awareness campaign will start in the course of 2021.