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Drink Wise, Age Well: report on alcohol use and the over 50’s

Around a quarter also admit that they would not know where to go for help.  The survey also found that the majority of low risk drinkers, drink with someone else whilst 78% of the high risk drinkers, tend to drink to take their mind off problems.

Dr Phil Huxley, Chair at NHS East Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “Alcohol related harm has now become a national major public health problem.  Many people are not aware of the serious effects that alcohol can have on their mental and physical health or how it can impact on their families and local community when misused.  There appears to be a misconception that alcohol misuse only affects young people but many of us probably don’t realise how much we are drinking and how much it can damage our health.  It is also those adults who are regularly drinking at home, above the recommended levels that we need to alert about what the safe levels of drinking are.  Alcohol misuse is much less obvious in adults who are drinking “socially” in their own homes.  It’s the hidden damage we need to be concerned about.

Although it isn’t easy, if you think you may have a drink problem, try to start a conversation with your friends and family first or speak to your GP or health practitioner for advice on safely cutting down. Someone who may be worrying about having to wait for an appointment can find it reassuring to know that advice is available straight away.  Pharmacies are often more convenient as they are closer to home and many now have private consultation rooms too, so you can be seen and listened to in confidence.  Pharmacists not only dispense medicines but also health advice, and as they also participate in delivering the free NHS Health Checks, are ideally placed to advise people, especially around the harm people may be unaware they are causing themselves.”

For local alcohol support, if people are worried or concerned they can contact the NHS Lancashire Care& Wellbeing advice line on 0800 915 4640.

Further helpful resources: