Stress in over 50s is causing an ageing alcohol problem

Stress is something that can affect anyone, no matter how old or young they are. A report has found worrying stats which indicate that over 50s may be turning to dangerous amounts of alcohol to cope with stress.

As many as one in five people over the age of fifty seem to be risking their health by consuming more alcohol in a week than the government’s recommended amount.

Three per cent now cross the threshold to be considered a “high risk”, a threshold of more than 50 units per week (for men) and 35 units per week (for women).

The survey, which was part of a report called “Drink Wise Age Well – Alcohol Use and the Over 50s”, found that the most common factor for the high levels of drinking was stress.

Often when the media talk about stress, it is discussing the pressures levelled at those in a working environment, be it women struggling in a male-dominated company, high level CEOs caving under the pressure of being a linchpin in a large corporation, or entry level workers who are being ground down by their desks. But the lifestyles and social risks of the more elderly in the community can also cause a great deal of stress.

In fact, it has been reported that the NHS spend more on alcohol related treatment for 55-74 year olds than they do on 16-24 year olds.

Isolation, fear of declining health and bereavements can all lead to people turning to a glass or bottle for comfort.

The report was based on answers of 17,000 people, a very large sample, and points towards the issues of stress and stress management throughout our lives, whether we are young or old.

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