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Immediate Access for help and advice

Middle-Class over-50s More Likely to Drink Harmful Levels of Alcohol

Alcoholism is an illness that affects individuals of all ages. From teenagers to pensioners, many people across the UK suffer from addictions to alcohol. Alcohol addiction is a huge issue in the country, especially as alcohol, unlike drugs, is socially acceptable. Alcohol is part of society and while moderate drinking is considered safe, those who drink to excess risk addiction as well as numerous health problems.

Alcohol addiction is not something that happens quickly. It occurs gradually, over time, with many people drinking more and more to get the same effects to a point whereby they have become dependent on it to function.

For many, a glass of wine in the evening will turn to two and, in some instances, they will not realise that they are polishing off a full bottle. If this were to happen every night, the individual would be drinking far more than the recommended daily or weekly allowance.

Middle Class at Risk

Experts are now warning that those over the age of fifty and from a middle-class background are more likely to drink excessive amounts of alcohol. The drinking habits of 9,000 people aged fifty and over were compared by researchers, who found that those who were better educated, wealthier and with grown-up children were more likely to drink harmful quantities of alcohol.

Professor Jose Iparraguirre, who led the study, is calling for lower alcohol guidelines for individuals over a certain age. Doctors are already worried about older drinkers contributing to growing incidences of liver disease, obesity, and cancer, but this study has given weight to the evidence that the heaviest drinkers in Britain are from the middle-aged category.

Middle-aged drinkers tend to drink every day as compared to their children who drink once or twice a week. And the evidence does suggest that younger people are drinking less these days. It is thought that the reason older people are drinking more is that alcohol is affordable for them, and it has become socially acceptable to drink in the home.

The study revealed that divorced or separated men are more likely to drink heavily while women tend to drink more after they retire.

Health Risks

Experts believe that because the middle class tend to live healthier lifestyles in terms of diet and exercise, they may not realise that their harmful levels of alcohol could be putting their health at risk. Professor Sir Ian Gilmore, a liver expert said, “Whilst it may be true that middle-class drinkers are able to offset some health problems because of healthier diets and lifestyles more generally, the risks of serious health harms are still significant.”

He pointed out that the risk of cancer increases with even low levels of alcohol consumption and he believes that health warnings should be placed on alcohol labels.

Drinkaware’s John Larsen also pointed out that many older people believe that moderate drinking is beneficial to health.

Risk of Addiction

Countless people are suffering from alcohol addiction without even realising. They have started by drinking one or two each night, gradually drinking more as time goes by. This is probably because their body has become tolerant to the effects of alcohol and so they need more to get the same experience. However, because some people drink every night, they are oblivious to the fact that they have developed an addiction until they try to stop drinking and suffer withdrawal symptoms.

If you have noticed that you are drinking more than you used to or more than you planned to, then you may have an alcohol dependency. Contact Rehab Helper today for advice and information on alcohol addiction and on how to get help.


  • http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3172734/Middle-class-drink-epidemic-Affluent-50s-sleep-walking-health-crisis-likely-consume-harmful-levels-alcohol-week.html
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