Alcoholism and health news on which journalist Scott Stevens has reported, with additional commentary from the award-winning international self-help author.
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
Widely misreported study says 'senior alcoholism rising' -- fact is, more are seeking help
A Nov. 17 report from by Public Health England notes the number of women over the age of 60 being treated for alcoholism is on the rise. Women in the age bracket account for nearly one in 10 people starting treatment for alcohol consumption, compared with six percent five years ago.
The report has been widely misreported as alcoholism being on the rise for the age group. In actuality, the research demonstrates only that the women are educated more than they were five years ago to the dangers of untreated alcohol problems and are doing something about it. Alcoholism, as a disease recognized by the American Medical Association and World Health Organization, is a primary, progressive, chronic and fatal disease held by about eight to ten percent of the population.
Using an increase in alcoholism treatment to claim more seniors are alcoholic is like claiming blindness is on the rise because eyeglass sales are up.
The percent of the women-over-60 population with the disease did not change. The percent getting help for it did. The other side of the spectrum – women under age 30 – shows the opposite trend. The figures showed that women beginning treatment for alcoholism between ages 18 and 29 fell to 14 percent, from 18 percent five years ago.
The report does shine a bright light on an often secret problem for seniors, especially senior women. (Watch The Sobriety :60 #1 – Senior Health on the dangers of drinking and aging, or listen to a replay of WIND-AM Chicago's program on AgingInfo Radioabout senior drinking. Links to both programs can be found on alcohologist.com) Loneliness, boredom, depression, failing health and isolation are some of the factors that contribute to senior drinking.
Dr Sally Marlow, a researcher at King's College Institute of Psychiatry, explained that study figures do run contrary to the portrayal of alcoholism in the media, which she said focuses on young people's binge drinking habits to a much greater extent.
Visit alcohologist.com for a replay of the Bringing Inspiration To Earth show feature with Scott Stevens. Lucy Pireel's "All That's Written" included a feature on Every Silver Lining Has a Cloud called "When alcohol doesn't work for you anymore." Details on the third literary award for Every Silver Lining Has a Cloud also can be found on www.alcohologist.com, plus an interview with Scott Stevens on Health Media Now and one at Christoph Fisher Books. Mr. Fisher is an acclaimed international author from the UK, among his works is the Alzheimer's book "Time to Let Go."