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Campaign highlights alcohol risks for over 50s

09 May 2023

For many people, a glass of wine or a pint of beer is a way of reducing stress after a tough day – but the short-term fix could be leading to long-term illnesses resulting in you feeling much worse off.

‘Does your Drinking Add Up?’ is a new campaign to raise awareness among the over 50s of the recommended alcohol limit and encourage them to think about their drinking habits.

Drinking more than the recommended 14 units of alcohol each week can increase the risk of developing high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke and certain cancers, and over 30% of falls ending in death are related to alcohol. Drinking above the recommend limit can also worsen conditions such as liver disease or diabetes.

For some, alcohol can cause or increase personal and social problems. During difficult times, it can be easy to use alcohol to cope with stress which may seem to help but can create additional problems such as poor quality sleep and increases in stress.

The NHS recommends that 14 units is the most anyone should consume in a week and it should be spread across three or more days. However, people can quickly reach 14 units of alcohol, so the Does your Drinking Add Up campaign highlights how quickly the number of alcohol units you consume adds up. For example, the limit is reached by drinking six pints of lager or six medium-sized glasses of wine.

The good news is that there are many ways you can reduce how much alcohol you drink. From switching to a non-alcoholic beer or mocktail (even on rare occasions), or accessing professional support, there is always help available.

You can find help and advice at any of the Change Grow Live service sites in Peterborough by visiting: https://www.changegrowlive.org/aspire-recovery-peterborough.

Jyoti Atri, director of public health at Peterborough City Council, said: “For many of us, a drink after a tough day or when socialising is something which is part of our lives, but it’s important to stay on top of just how much alcohol we are consuming.

“As we get older our bodies change and our tolerance levels diminish. I hope this campaign will persuade those who enjoy a regular tipple to consider cutting back so they can enjoy a better quality of life over the upcoming years.”