Home Uncategorized Disturbing data shows 237% increase in alcohol-related deaths for over-55s in the...

Disturbing data shows 237% increase in alcohol-related deaths for over-55s in the last 25 years, with COVID stress and higher amounts of disposable income blamed for problem

25
0


Aging baby boomers are finding their carefree youth catching up on them as drinking takes its toll on the ‘substance abusing generation’.

There was a 237 percent increase in alcohol related deaths among over 55s between 1999 and 2020, and stress of the pandemic has made things worse.

The crisis is no respecter of social status with the wealthy at least as vulnerable, and analysts have warned that the country faces a public health crisis as the boomers flood emergency rooms.

‘If the Baby Boomers consumed alcohol at the same levels as the prior generation, the sheer size of the group would lead to a significant increase in alcohol-related harms,’ wrote Dr George Koob of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

‘While the prevalence of drinking in this age group increased by only 15.7 percent, the actual number of drinkers increased by 80.2 percent.’

There was a 237 percent increase in alcohol related deaths among over 55s between 1999 and 2020, and stress of the pandemic has made things worse

There was a 237 percent increase in alcohol related deaths among over 55s between 1999 and 2020, and stress of the pandemic has made things worse

Alcohol-related deaths among the boomer generation easily outsoared those for other age groups among both men and women in 2020 according to data from the CDC

Alcohol-related deaths among the boomer generation easily outsoared those for other age groups among both men and women in 2020 according to data from the CDC 

Liver damage remains by far the most lethal effect of alcohol among long-term users

Liver damage remains by far the most lethal effect of alcohol among long-term users 

Alcohol consumption peaked in the US in 1980 when the boomers were in their prime.

But rather than cutting back, older Americans seem to be doubling down on the bad habits of their youth, with binge drinking in the age bracket increasing 40 percent in the 15 years to 2018.

And women are fast closing the gap with men when it comes to both alcohol consumption and binge drinking.

The amount drunk by older men grew 0.7 percent a year between 1997 to 2014, but 1.6 percent annually among women.

‘The boomers are a substance-using generation,’ said Keith Humphreys, a psychologist and addiction researcher at Stanford told the New York Times. 

‘Women have been the drivers of change in this age group.’

He said that boomer women entered workplaces in high numbers at a time when drinking was central to the culture and people had more disposable income.

‘Contrary to stereotypes, upper-middle-class, educated people have higher rates of drinking,’ he explained.

‘The women retiring now are more likely to drink than their mothers and grandmothers.’

A survey in May 2020 found that one in 10 older adults were drinking more each week than previously, and that the odds of increased consumption were twice as high if a respondent reported loneliness or had symptoms of anxiety or depression

A survey in May 2020 found that one in 10 older adults were drinking more each week than previously, and that the odds of increased consumption were twice as high if a respondent reported loneliness or had symptoms of anxiety or depression

More than 178,000 Americans were killed by alcohol in 2021, a jump of nearly a third in just two years.

Thirty eight percent of them were over 65 but experts fear that the true toll of the pandemic has yet to play out as the impact of lockdown drinking makes itself felt.

Deaths directly attributable to alcohol, emergency room visits, and alcohol sales per head of population soared as COVID restrictions took hold.

A survey in May 2020 found that one in 10 older adults were drinking more each week than previously, and that the odds of increased consumption were twice as high if a respondent reported loneliness or had symptoms of anxiety or depression.

And if someone had all three – loneliness, anxiety, depression – they were 3.8 times more likely to be drinking more.

‘A lot of stressors impacted us: the isolation, the worries about getting sick,’ Dr Koob said.

‘They point to people drinking more to cope with that stress.’

And experts fear that aging boomers may not be aware that their bodies can no longer cope with alcohol as well as they used to.

‘Equivalent amounts of alcohol have much more disastrous consequences for older adults,’ said Dr David Oslin, of the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Philadelphia.

‘It causes slower thinking, slower reaction time and less cognitive capacity when you’re older, exacerbates cardiovascular disease, renal disease and, if you’ve been drinking for many years, there’s an increase in certain kinds of cancers.’

And he worries that older people are complacent about drinking while under the influence of the medicines they increasingly have to take to cope with age-related conditions.

Pain medications and sleep aids can lead to over sedation if mixed with alcohol, and waiting a few hours before taking a drink may not be enough.

Alcohol-related deaths surged during the pandemic among the 55 to 64-year-old men according to the latest National Centre for Health Statistics data, and are expected to increase further as the impact of the restrictions plays out

Alcohol-related deaths surged during the pandemic among the 55 to 64-year-old men according to the latest National Centre for Health Statistics data, and are expected to increase further as the impact of the restrictions plays out 

The figures are no less alarming for women who are starting to catch up with the men

The figures are no less alarming for women who are starting to catch up with the men

‘Those medications are in your system all day long, so when you drink, there’s still that interaction,’ he added.

But help is difficult to access for many because the Medicare on which many older people rely does not offer the same coverage for substance use disorders, as for other medical conditions.

‘Age is actually the best predictor of a positive response,’ said Dr Oslin.

‘Treatment doesn’t necessarily mean you have to become abstinent. We work with people to moderate their drinking.’



Source link

Previous articleA Profound Final Line In Blade Runner Was Improvised
Next articleHow Hermes Got His First Standout Episode In Futurama

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here