Changes in the Addiction Prevalence in Polish Population between 1990-2019: Review of Available Data

Iwona Nowakowska, Karol Lewczuk and Mateusz Gola



The 1989 collapse of the socialist political system in Poland initiated an avalanche of modifications regarding healthcare policy resulting with new institutions and programs dedicated to monitoring and preventing addiction. In the current article, we look at the available data allowing to track changes in (1) the prevalence of exposure to addictive substances and behaviors, and (2) changes of addictions prevalence in Poland between 1990 and 2019. Analysis of all available studies on representative samples of Polish population conducted between 1990 and 2019 by sociological and epidemiological research companies and governmental organizations dedicated to the monitoring and treatment of addiction. Our analysis shows decrease of exposed and addicted to tobacco respectively by 13% and 15%. Conversely, we noted an opposite, increasing tendency both in alcohol consumed per capita (a rise by 2.37 litres of pure alcohol per year) and a minor rise in the prevalence of alcohol use disorder within the general population (an increase by 0.2%). The available data connected to other addictions (drugs and behavioral addictions) are more sparse; and therefore has to be interpreted with caution. The present analysis confirms the relative success of nationwide smoking prevention initiatives introduced in Poland in the post-socialist period, as well as the lower efficiency of corresponding initiatives aimed at alcohol addiction. We identified flaws in the available data, which must be supplemented to carry out an efficient anti-addiction policy. Based on this analysis, future research directions have been formulated and critical research areas identified. The present work is also an opportunity to advocate for creating a more comprehensive and reliable addiction monitoring programs in Poland.

Published on: June 16, 2020
Citation: Nowakowska I, Lewczuk K, Gola M. 2020. Changes in the Addiction Prevalence in Polish Population between 1990-2019: Review of Available Data. J Addict Sci 6(1): 17-31.

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