Alcohol addiction seems to be a growing problem in the UK. While most people can drink sensibly and within the recommended daily limits, it would appear that many others are regularly drinking more than this, which is cause for concern.
An alcohol addiction often occurs gradually over time, and many people are unaware that they even have a problem. They may have started drinking a glass of wine with dinner each night but gradually that amount has increased so that they are now drinking unsafe amounts every week. Some couples may even have progressed to sharing a bottle of wine per night, not realising that this is harmful to their health.
Others have begun to find that they need more and more alcohol to experience the same effects because their body has become tolerant. It is at this stage that dependency and addiction often follows.
A new report has revealed that twenty per cent of pensioners are regularly exceeding the recommended daily limits for alcohol. Experts believe the only way to tackle this problem is by introducing a minimum unit price for alcohol. Chief of Alcohol Concern, Jackie Ballard, said, “Harmful drinking is a real issue for middle-aged and older people, many of whom are regularly drinking above recommended limits, often in their own homes.”
She also believes that the already-stretched NHS could come under more pressure from this older generation who is drinking more and will undoubtedly require ‘complex and expensive health care’.
She said, “Alcohol is directly linked to over 60 medical conditions and continues to be the leading risk factor for deaths among men and women aged between 15 and 49 in the UK.”
It is Ms Ballard’s belief that implementing a minimum price per unit of alcohol would be the most effective solution. She says that things will just get worse unless this situation is taken seriously, and the implications for the NHS will be huge.
Caroline Abrahams, director of Age UK, says that moderate drinking can be important to the social lives of older people, but she said, “Excessive drinking in later life is a growing and serious problem.”
She is also concerned that the number of older people being admitted to hospital because of alcohol intoxication is rising. She is worried that people do not fully understand the public health messages regarding alcohol consumption.
The main fear among experts is that this older group of high-income people do not realise the danger they are putting themselves in by consuming excessive amounts of alcohol because they are in general healthier than other older people are.
Another issue is that as people age, their ability to process alcohol changes and the safe amount of alcohol consumption changes as well. Ms Abrahams says that older people need to be aware that they can be damaging their health and worsening existing health problems by drinking too much alcohol.
If you are regularly drinking alcohol, you may have already built up a tolerance to it. This could be dangerous as it may mean you suffer withdrawal symptoms should you try to cut down or quit drinking. If you have noticed that you regularly drink more than you planned or that you are thinking about alcohol even when you are not drinking, you may already have a problem. You may have also noticed that you suffer from withdrawal symptoms such as shaking or sweating when you are not drinking.
If you have noticed any of the above signs, it may be time to get some help. Rehab Helper has a team of dedicated, professional counsellors, therapists, and advisors ready to take your call and provide you with advice and information on getting help for your addiction. Call today for more information on how we can help.