The alcohol-related cases that medics had to attend in 2016 means that these have risen by 20% over a decade. That makes the total number of cases attended in 2016 a staggering 339,000. Overall, over 1.1 million people were hospitalised in this country due to alcohol-related causes.

The statistics are an eye opener. Of those who were polled, 64% of people aged 45-64 drank alcohol each week. Only 46% of under 25s and 56% of under 45s drank alcohol every week. That makes the baby boomers the hardest drinking group of all. The statistics also showed that those in the middle-aged group are bigger binge-drinkers than the 16-44 age group. The report also showed that those aged 55-64 were particularly likely to drink at higher risk levels.

Another interesting fact about our drinking habits shows that those with an income of £40,000 or more per annum are more likely to be regular drinkers. Dr Tony Rao, co-chairperson of the older people’s substance misuse working group at the Royal College of Psychiatrists, said that the findings were a ‘wake-up call’. He said, “These figures show that alcohol abuse is not a ‘young person problem’. It’s very concerning that while the rest of the population, including younger people, reduces its alcohol intake, baby boomers are drinking at a similar rate as before – and exceeding recommended guidelines. People expect to live longer, so they aren’t slowing down just because they’re in their 60s.”

Dr John Larsen from Drinkaware, said, “Whilst it is encouraging to see that young people are increasingly tending to drink less often or are becoming teetotal, there are some worrying figures in the survey. It shows that 45 to 64-year-olds to binge drink at similar levels to those between the ages of 16 to 24. Most people wouldn’t think that sitting at home and having more than three pints or drinking most of a bottle of wine in front of the television is binging, but the units add up.”

But how much is too much when it comes to drinking alcohol? Government guidelines state that you should not be drinking more than 14 units of alcohol per week. That equates to more or less six pints of beer, or six standard 175ml glasses of wine.

How Will I know If I Have a Problem with Alcohol?

Dr Paul McLaren, consultant psychiatrist at the Priory’s Fenchurch Street Wellbeing Centre in London, says, “There are various questions you should ask yourself – or perhaps a loved one – if you think you or they have an alcohol problem. A good starting point is to understand your relationship with alcohol. Try to get away from thinking about it in black and white terms such as ‘Am I a problem drinker or not?’, ‘Am I an alcoholic?’ or ‘Am I physically dependent?’ Alcohol has the potential to be toxic for anyone who drinks it, and it can be toxic for different individuals in different ways. Understanding how your personality, your strategies for coping with stress and your physiology interact with alcohol is as important as knowing how many units are recommended as safe.”

If you have any thoughts that you or someone close to you may have a problem with alcohol, give Recovery Lighthouse a call today. We have a helpline that is staffed 24/7 by trained and experienced counsellors who will be able to answer any and all of your questions. When you speak to one of our friendly staff, they will ask you the important questions that will determine your behaviour, as well as your relationship with alcohol. Depending on your answers, we will be able to determine your level of dependence on alcohol and the type of intervention that will ultimately be needed. Then we can advise you on the next steps to take. These include inpatient detoxification, inpatient or outpatient treatment, and aftercare with support groups or Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) membership. Where needed, we can arrange for immediate admission to our clinic, and treatment can start immediately. It is not advisable to try to detoxify by yourself if you are a long-standing alcoholic and are physically dependent on alcohol. Sometimes the withdrawal symptoms need to be managed with specialised medication and monitored by a medical professional.

The sooner you get treatment, the better. Give us a call today!