Baby Booz­ers hit the bot­tle hard

Geelong Advertiser - - NEWS -

SCI­EN­TISTS have un­cov­ered what they be­lieve is a wor­ry­ing new trend of more older Aussies drink­ing al­co­hol at “prob­lem­atic lev­els”.

Not only is there an in­crease in the num­ber of older drinkers in the past year, but more are also drink­ing at con­cern­ing lev­els, re­searchers from the Na­tional Cen­tre for Ed­u­ca­tion and Train­ing on Ad­dic­tion at Flin­ders Univer­sity re­veal.

Data from the Na­tional Drug Strat­egy House­hold sur­vey shows that among peo­ple 50 years and over, the pro­por­tion with an al­co­hol in­take deemed risky has fluc­tu­ated, from 13.4 per cent in 2004 to 13.5 per cent in 2016, while the high-risk group has in­creased from 2.1 per cent to 3.1 per cent.

The in­crease is in stark con­trast to a “sig­nif­i­cant de­crease” in risky drink­ing among peo­ple aged 12-24 dur­ing the same pe- riod, ac­cord­ing to the Med­i­cal Jour­nal of Aus­tralia.

The study also shows there has been an in­crease in the pro­por­tion of older peo­ple ab­stain­ing from al­co­hol but not to the same de­gree as younger groups.

The re­searchers said older Aus­tralians who drink too much were at risk of falls and other in­juries.

“Although the in­creases in the pro­por­tions of risky and high-risk drinkers are small, they nev­er­the­less cor­re­spond to an ad­di­tional 400,000 peo­ple drink­ing at po­ten­tially prob­lem­atic lev­els,” the study states.

“Although the in­creases in the pro­por­tions of risky and high-risk drinkers are small, they nev­er­the­less cor­re­spond to an ad­di­tional 400,000 peo­ple drink­ing at po­ten­tially prob­lem­atic lev­els.”

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