What Are The Drunkest Countries on the Planet?
If alcoholism is hereditary, what does that mean for people who come from the world’s drunkest countries? Are they destined to drink? To be knockdown, drag-out drunks? Is there anything they can do to prevent such a thing?
Well, that depends. It depends on how far removed you are from your heritage, as well as your heritage country. It also depends on how your heritage handled its alcohol. Are there drunks in your family? Have they been around for generations? Do you feel as if you’ve inherited their predilection?
And just which are the drunkest countries anyway? If you’re not from one of the world’s wettest, maybe you can escape the disease. Then again, you could be the son and grandson of tea-totaling priests and nuns and still have a drinking problem.
Let’s check it out:
The World’s Drunkest Countries
The World Health Organization’s 2014 Global Status Report On Alcohol and Health found Belarus to be the world’s drunkest country. Alas the tiny landlocked land is completely absent from the 2019 counterpart. We’re guessing there was just no available data. If you happen to be Belarusian though, don’t worry. It’s a cinch you’re still ranked among the world’s drunkest countries.
Here’s WHO’s Official 2019 Top 10:
That’s right. The WHO found the citizens of Czechia consumed the most alcohol per capita in 2019 (14.26 liters per person). Latvia and Moldova followed with a respective 13.19 and 12.85. But 38 countries had annual alcohol consumption above 10 liters. And while the majority of these countries are located in Europe, it represents a dangerous amount of drinking.
What’s So Bad About Moldova?
Speaking of dangerous European countries. Both Travel Bible and Know Insiders consider the Republic of Moldova to be the drunkest country in the world*. Unfortunately, a good 70% of that alcohol is homemade wine, so accurate figures are hard to come by. (*Unrecorded homemade wine consumption is why these findings differ from the above.)
So says Olga Penina, a lecturer of Public Health at Chisinau’s State University of Medicine and Pharmacy. The wine-drinking culture sets Moldova apart from other post-Soviet countries, where people prefer to drink spirits. The “cult of wine is strong,” says Penina. “Fighting it is problematic.”
Nevertheless, the CIA World Factbook was able to pin down some numbers. For instance, while Moldova only spent 8.6% of its GDP on education, it spent more than double that on alcohol. That’s right. Moldovans spent a total of 18.22% of their GDP on booze. Okay, so only 8.22% was actually recorded. But that means the unrecorded 10% is either high or low. And from the looks of things, the percentage is probably low.
Here’s how Moldova’s consumption breaks down:
Having the highest levels of alcohol consumption naturally leads to the highest death rate from drinking. And here Moldova also ranks supreme, with a whopping one-in-four drinking deaths versus the world average one-in-20. Then again, when people drink the equivalent of around 167 bottles of wine each and every year (18.2 liters), there’s bound to be an astronomic death rate.
Moldova isn’t the only former Soviet satellite to excel in drinking though. It’s followed closely by Lithuania (15 liters annually) and Czechia (14.4). Both far larger than Europe’s 9.8 liter average.
“Every [Moldovan] family has a person with a drinking problem,” says Tudor Vasiliev, a psychiatrist specializing in addiction and a coordinator of Moldova’s National Alcohol Control Program.
You don’t say.
America’s Drinking Habits
WHO placed the United States annual per person consumption at 9.97 liters in 2019. It also pointed out that consumption varies by state. Whatever the breakdown, the overall puts the U.S. in the 39th-highest spot, and significantly above the worldwide average of 5.8 liters per.
Things might be getting better — or worse. On the one hand our annual per person consumption has reportedly gone down to 8.7 liters. On the other, the U.S. is now the world’s 25th drunkest country. Sure, we’re only a smidgen above the 8.3 liter global average. But we’re still above. To worsen matters though, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) did find that most states have been exceeding their 2.1 gallons or less per capita alcohol consumption goal.
Nevertheless, we are progressing. And we’re progressing at a steady pace too. Every day we bring you news of new sober bars and non-alcoholic bottle shops. That or we tell the inspiring tale of one sobriety hero or another. More importantly, we see a distinct increase in folks seeking healthier ways to entertain themselves. Sure, some of those folks may only be sober curious. But that’s a great step closer to sobriety.
It doesn’t matter where they came from either. And they’re well beyond the influence of their so-called origin country. Considering the U.S. has about the most diverse population on the planet, that’s saying something. Think about it. A good number of Americans came from the Top 10 drunkest countries. But that hasn’t meant they decided to get drunk and stay drunk. Okay, so there could be some proclivity. You may have even been given drink at an early age. Yet, you’re in a better place now. You’ve got opportunities denied other people. You’ve also got options. Foremost of those is to be your own person.
Healing Properties knows this. How? Because we’ve been at it for two decades. That’s right. We’ve been treating addicts and alcoholics since 2001. They’ve been of every imaginable heritage too. But they all had one thing in common. There were determined to inherit more than drink. Much more.
How ’bout it? You making the grade without libation? Would you like to? It can be done you know. Even if you’re a Moldovan-American. All you’ve gotta do is call. So please. Pick up the phone. And make the drunkest countries nothing more than a mere subject of curiosity.
(Image Wikicommons via Travel Bible)