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Warning over baby boomers' drinking

25 August 2017 11:33

Drinking is becoming a problem among the over-50s, experts warn

Drinking is becoming a problem among the over-50s, experts warn

Experts have warned that many so-called baby boomers are drinking too much alcohol.

Writing in the British Medical Journal, they say substance misuse among the over-50s is a "rapidly growing problem".

The rise of risky drinking

Researchers say so-called "risky drinking" is becoming a problem particularly among older women. Many of these may have been affected by issues such as retirement, loneliness or a change in home situation, say the experts.

Some older people choose to visit friends and relatives overseas in such circumstances. The over-65s can arrange specialist seniors travel insurance.

Rahul Rao, visiting researcher at the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust and Ann Roche, director of the National Centre for Training and Addiction at Flinders University in Australia, say there is a "strong upward trend for episodic heavy drinking" among people aged 50 and over.

"A lack of sound alcohol screening to detect risky drinking may result in a greater need for treatment, longer duration of treatment, heavier use of ambulance services, and higher rates of hospital admission."

Part of the daily routine

Another expert warns that drinking at home is becoming a "normal daily habit" for many baby boomers.

Katherine Brown, director of the Institute of Alcohol Studies, says it is "no surprise" that more over-50s are being affected by alcohol problems.

She explains: "This is the first generation in living memory that has had easy access to cheap alcohol in shops and supermarkets and now we are seeing the consequences in later life."