Doctors warn binge drinking over 65s of severe health problems involved

Doctors are warning over 65s about the dangers on binge drinking after a study discovered that most elderly drinkers do not realise that they have a problem.

The study, that was conducted by a team from Newcastle and Sunderland Universities, found that most older heavy drinkers do not believe they are dependent and have a problem with alcohol, reports

For example, one of the women interviewed said she drank a whole bottle of wine every day, equating to around 63 units a week. However, the women did not believe she had a problem, despite the fact the recommended number of units per week for a woman is 14, reports

Many older people associate drinking with being sociable and a good way to relax but there are numerous health problems linked to heavy drinking that might not be apparent straight away, doctors warn.

The study said that chronic pain, loneliness and bereavement were most likely to lead to heavy drinking later in life. Those who are suffering from any of those problems might find help through talking to a professional by going on a counselling course, for example.

Dr Katie Haighton, from the Institute of Health and Society, said: "A lot of those we interviewed said the messages around alcohol were very confusing. There is a need to develop new approaches to target the older population, for example longer in-home support, tailored information on the risks from alcohol in later life, or health workers with specific training on older people's needs."