Media release: Charity boss urges over 50s in Wales to check their alcohol and drugs intake

Wednesday, 20th December 2017

As Wales prepares to celebrate the New Year with boozy parties, older people are being warned to check their intake of alcohol and drugs.

Barod, the Welsh charity tackling misuse of alcohol and drugs (formerly known as ‘Drugaid’), is warning that older people are more likely than many may think to develop a dependency on alcohol and drugs.

In Wales, 23% of male and 10% of female drinkers over the age of 75 report drinking above the guidelines.

Caroline Phipps, Chief Executive of Barod, said:

“In Wales, over-50s are more likely than earlier generations to develop substance misuse problems.

“Over 50s are the only group where the number of people seeking treatment is increasing., and research shows it’s 65-74 year olds who are the only age group where their drinking has increased.

“Unfortunately, older people can be more likely to conceal alcohol misuse, and they’re less likely to ask for help because they feel ashamed or embarrassed to talk about personal problems.”

The charity are not just concerned about alcohol use, drugs can also be a problem for older people:

“Older people often use large amounts of prescription and over-the-counter medication, and they can develop problems with unintended dependency or misuse.

“More than four out of five of people in Wales aged 65-plus report regularly taking prescribed medicines for a year or more.

“I’m over 50, and I know that we’re never too old to make positive changes.

“Over the Christmas holidays we want to everyone in Wales have a real think about if they might be growing a dependency on alcohol or drugs, and to seek help if they need it.

“At Barod, we’re here to help people reduce their intake and to get back control of their lives.”

 

Notes for editors

Issued by Helen Reynolds, PR consultant for Barod

For more information or further quotes, contact Caroline Phipps, Chief Executive of Barod: phone 07770734683; email caroline.phipps@barod.cymru.

‘Barod’ is the new name for Drugaid, and is a charity that gives pioneering substance misuse treatment to people in South Wales.

Research and sources of the statistics in the media release can be found in the report: Calling Time Addressing ageism and age discrimination in alcohol policy, practice and research: https://drinkwiseagewell.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/DWAW_Yr3_Report-FOR-WEB4.pdf

Please avoid the words addict, alcoholic, user or abuser, as suggested in the Associated Press Stylebook 2017, in order to stop the stigmatisation of a health issue.

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