Harmful Drinking Patterns are Common in Affluent Older Adults


According to the online journal BMJ Open, “active, affluent people over age 50 in the U.K. appear to be at greater risk for harmful drinking behaviors than their less successful peers…”


The full extract here:


“…a 10-year study of alcohol use transitions among men aged between 50 and 65 in the USA reported that the different trajectories of risk were associated with age, education, smoking, binge drinking, depression, pain and self-reported health.”

The defined risk of harmful drinking following the guidelines set out by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).

NICE has defined the following levels of risk of harmful drinking:

Lower risk drinking: ≤21 units per week (adult men) or ≤14 units per week (adult women).

Increasing-risk drinking: 22≤50 units per week (adult men) or 15≤35 units per week (adult women).

Higher risk drinking: >50 alcohol units per week (adult men) or >35 units per week (adult women).

Note: One alcohol unit is measured as 10ml or 8g of pure alcohol. This equals one 25ml single measure of whiskey (ABV 40%), or a third of a pint of beer (ABV 5-6%) or half a standard (175ml) glass of red wine (ABV 12%). 



1] Time

Most of the men I know drink more because they have more time to play.

They don’t have to get up every day at 4 am to work in the coal mines, or sit behind a desk and look alert at an office farm.

Time is at their disposal.

2] Money

The great thing ab0ut money is that you can buy a lot of things without thinking much about it.

Liquor comes to mind.

Add time to money and you have lots of exotic vacations where people drink at all hours of the day and night, including room service at 2 am.

3] Active Social Lives

Affluent older men attend galas, cocktail parties, and cultural events of all kinds where alcohol is served.

During the cultural season we could be talking about 4 or 5 events during the course of any given week.

4] Boredom

What the hell else are you going to do at night when you don’t have any particular time you have to go to bed?

A glass of wine or two over Law and Order sounds logical to me.

5] Depression

Existential pain is a bitch and one way to fight it is to drown your sorrows in another depressive.

It sells itself.

I could go on with this, but you get the picture.