Pensioners are UK’s hidden addicts


A recent study revealed that pensioners have become more and more addicted to drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes. Those above the age of 65 are advised not to give in to vices as their health is already affected by aging.

Research on alcohol consumption suggests that an adult should drink no more than 1.5 units of booze per day. The elderly however, disregard these safe recommendations and drink 3 to 4 units on a daily basis. According to the Royal College of Psychiatrists, elderly men need guidance in order to reduce the number of glasses and conform to a pre-established limit.

Women above the age of 65 shouldn’t drink at all, but the normal limit is somewhere at two units per day, although one unit is recommended. Dr. Tony Rao, who works as a consultant and is a member of Older People’s Substance Misuse Group, created the report concerning drinking abuse in elderly people.

“As we age, there are other accompanying factors such as increasing memory problems and physical health problems and less of an ability to get rid of alcohol from the blood stream,” explained the doctor. “This means that the effects of what we would currently call the safe limits are actually more damaging for older people, he added.

It appears that alcohol isn’t the only problem. Those who benefit from prescriptions that allow the use of powerful medicine are prone to addictiveness. A few years ago, the use of drugs wasn’t something widespread among the elderly. The report reveals that this increase in drug use was only recently discovered.

Some of the reasons why the elderly allow themselves to drink or use drugs are boredom and loneliness. This usually happens after they retire and don’t look at life from an optimistic point of view.

Don Shenker of Alcohol Concern also explained why the elderly turn alcohol drinking in a habitual need. He said: “While younger excessive drinkers often make the headlines, we should remember that older people often turn to alcohol in later life as a coping mechanism and this can remain stubbornly hidden from view.”

Excessive drinking should be prevented for all age groups, not only the young. In the light of a bad economy, low wages and diseases that keep getting out of control, people feel downtrodden and easily influenced to drink alcohol.


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