In Switzerland, in 2022, 16.4% of the population drank alcohol to an extent that was risky for health, whether chronically or episodically on certain occasions (binge drinking). This percentage has fallen slightly compared with 2017 (18.1%).

In 2022, the proportion of people whose alcohol consumption posed a risk to health was 20.7% among men, which was much higher than among women (12.1%). There are also major differences between age groups and different levels of education: 20-24 year-olds (31.0%) and people with a tertiary level education (17.1%) are most likely to have risky drinking habits.

This indicator is part of the Monitoring System Addiction and NCD (MonAM) of the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH).

Two forms of increased alcohol consumption are associated with a health risk: chronically increased levels of drinking over a longer period of time (see 'Chronic heavy alcohol consumption (age:15+)' indicator and episodic heavy alcohol consumption on certain occasions (see 'Episodic heavy alcohol consumption (age: 15+)' indicator, also known as binge drinking. Chronic heavy alcohol consumption is a risk factor for coronary heart disease, certain cancers, brain haemorrhages, diseases of the liver, road accidents, violence, suicide, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS (WHO, 2018), severe depression (Rehm et al., 2019) and epilepsy (Rehm et al., 2017). Episodic heavy alcohol consumption can lead to accidents, injuries, violence, damage to property and increased risk of suicide (Borges et al., 2017).

This indicator shows the proportion of the population showing signs of at least one of the two heavy alcohol consumption behaviours. It thus provides a view of the prevalence of all heavy alcohol consumption in the Swiss population. The magnitude of heavy alcohol consumption is relevant to the prevention of addictive diseases.


This indicator was calculated on the basis of data from the Swiss Health Survey (SHS, n2022 ≈ 22 000) and is updated every five years.

It indicates the proportion of the population aged 15 and older living in a private household who show signs of either chronic or episodic heavy alcohol consumption, or both.

Chronic heavy alcohol consumption is said to occur with an average daily alcohol consumption within or exceeding the following thresholds: medium risk for women at 20 to 40g of pure alcohol, i.e. 2 to 4 standard units*, for men at 40 to 60g, i.e. 4 to 6 standard units; high risk for women at over 40g, i.e. more than 4 standard units, for men at over 60g, i.e. more than 6 standard units. Average alcohol consumption is calculated in grammes per day and is based on a combination of questions on the consumption of beer, wine, spirits and alcopops in the 12 months prior to the interview (frequency and amount). More information in the "Chronic heavy alcohol consumption (Age: 15+)" indicator.

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  • Advice on alcohol consumption – 2018 (June 2018). Federal Commission for Alcohol-related issues (FCAL), Bern: Document (in GermanFrench and Italian).
  • Borges, G. et al. (2017). A meta-analysis of acute use of alcohol and the risk of suicide attempt. Psychological Medicine. 47(5):949-957. doi: 10.1017/S0033291716002841: Study.
  • Rehm, J. et al. (2017). The relationship between different dimensions of alcohol use and the burden of disease – an update. Addiction. 112(6):968-1001. doi: 10.1111/add.13757: Study.
  • Rehm, J. et al. (2019). Global Burden of Disease and the Impact of Mental and Addictive Disorders. Current Psychiatry Reports. 21(2):10. doi: 10.1007/s11920-019-0997-0: Study.
  • WHO (2018). Global status report on alcohol and health 2018. Geneva: Report.

Further information

  • Gmel, G. et al. (2017). Suchtmonitoring Schweiz - Konsum von Alkohol, Tabak und illegalen Drogen in der Schweiz im Jahr 2016. Addiction Monitoring in Switzerland, Lausanne: Study (in German and French)
  • Kuendig, H. (2010). Estimation du nombre de personnes alcoolo-dépendantes dans la population helvétique. Addiction Monitoring in Switzerland, Lausanne: Report (in French).

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