ISTAT released data on the use and abuse of alcoholic beverages in Italy in 2010. In 2010, the share of population 11 years and over who consumed at least one alcoholic beverage during the year amounted to 65.7%, down from 2009 (68.5%). 26.3% of the population (14 million 126 thousand people) drink alcohol daily, while 38.4% consumed alcohol at least once between meals. 53.3% of the people from 11 years on drink wine, 45.9% drink beer, 39.9% drink alcoholic aperitifs, bitter, spirits or liqueurs. As for the daily consumption, 24.1% drink wine and 4.3% drink beer every day.
Over the past 10 years, there was an increase in the occasional drinkers, those who drink out of the meals and consumers of other alcoholic beverages than wine and beer, while daily consumers and those who drink only wine and beer decreased. Overall, risk-taking behavior in alcohol consumption (daily excessive consumption), binge drinking (six or more glasses of alcoholic drinks on one occasion) and consumption of alcohol by young people of 11-15 years) involve 8 million and 624 000 people, 16.1% of the population 11 years and more. This share appears to be stable over time.
The elderly population is the most at risk for excessive consumption: it is 2 million and 915 thousand people aged 65 and over (43.5% of males and 10.6% of females), who consume alcohol daily exceeding the recommendations, often maintaining behaviors acquired in the course of life, not aware of the increased health risks due to aging.
The youth population (18-24 years) is the most at risk of binge drinking: it involves 698 000 persons, 16.6% of young people, with a ratio between males and females of three. This behavior often occurs during moments of socialization.
13.6% of young people 11-15 years (392,000 people) drink alcohol, which is a risky behavior in itself, but is even more serious because it lays the foundation for excessive consumption in the course of life.
Among 18-24 year olds who often attend discotheques, risk-taking behaviors of alcohol consumption are most common (33.9%) compared to their peers who do not go to the disco (7.2%).