Breaking Alcohol Dependence among Elderly thru Counselling

June 23, 2011

Alcohol dependence and related problems is increasing in United Kingdom, costing the country at least £20 billion each year, says a report from NHS.

Said research pointed out that staggering 17 million working days have been lost because of absenteeism due to hangovers and ailments brought by alcoholism among employees and workers. On the report from Daily Mail Reporter posted recently, “One in 26 “bed days” in the NHS is taken up by alcohol-related illness… with an annual cost to the taxpayer of £1.7 billion. The cost of clearing up alcohol-related crime is a further £7.3 billion a year.”

Alcohol Dependence among the Elderly

Alcohol dependence among youth is not a new issue. But what is disturbing is that more and more elderly people are getting hooked by drinking alcohol. This alarming condition is not only becoming detrimental to UK’s economy but also to the people’s health. These people, who used to spend their days at home drinking their favourite wine and liquor are so called the “invisible addicts”, said the Royal College of Psychiatrist. According to the said organisation, individuals at the age of 65 years and above should only consume a maximum of 1.5 units of alcohol each day which is tantamount to over a half pint of beer or small glass of wine.

What are The Risks of Alcohol to Aged People?

Scientifically speaking, the body tends to react poorly towards chemicals and other substances as an individual gets older. This is the most probable reason why the elderly are no longer advised to drink alcohol more than their body can tolerate. Such problem is aggravated by use of too much medications (and misuse) that they take as part of their declining health conditions. Basically, not all medications especially common drugs taken by these people react positively to the alcohol. Such chemical reactions only lead to worsening conditions and more health problems.

Breaking Alcohol Dependence thru Counselling

The best way to treat any addiction problem is to find out the root cause/s why people indulge in such vice. Many experts suggest that reasons why people who experience alcohol abuse and dependence later in their life may be accounted to depression about retirement, children moving from them, bereavement, boredom, and severe feelings of loneliness.

Perhaps the easiest way to help them go through this impassable stage of life is to talk to them and help them realize that life is a matter of achievements and at the same time, losses. The case study of Royal College of Psychiatrist calls on the need for the British Government to establish programs such as health campaigns that will help old people reduce and finally eliminate their dependence to alcohol. Counselling practitioners or GPs then have crucial role in helping out these people. Through counselling, elderly will be taught to set their limits to 1.5 units of alcohol per week.

Support from people around them- most importantly their families is also indispensable in this movement against alcohol dependence. If there are people that these “invisible addicts” will turn to first, it would be their families.

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