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5 December 2019

Addaction highlights over-50s in new ONS alcohol related deaths statistics

The Latest ONS statistics (released 03/12/2019) alcohol-specific death rates were highest among men aged 55 to 59 years and women aged 60 to 64 years (in 2018). The highest alcohol-specific death rate was among those aged 55 to 59 years for males, with a rate of 39.8 deaths per 100,000. 

Robin Pollard, Policy Researcher at Addaction, said: 

 “More than 7,500 people died from alcohol-related causes last year - and the age group we are most worried about is the over-50s which had the highest alcohol-specific death rate. People in this age group are drinking more than ever and we know that the pressures of their lives, such as loneliness, grief or a sense of loss after retirement can all play a part.
“Even when issues start to unravel, older adults tend not to engage with alcohol services like ours. In the UK, four out of five people with an alcohol problem aren’t receiving treatment. We need to make it a lot easier to get help and support at a much earlier stage.” 

Robin went on: “Although helping people make healthier choices is vital, evidence also shows that we need better policy if we are serious about change. We know that 4% of drinkers consume one third of the alcohol sold in the UK - and that increasing the price of high alcohol drinks is proven to make a difference to consumption. Minimum Unit Pricing sets a price below which a unit of alcohol can’t be legally sold. It reduces availability of high strength, low-quality and low-cost drinks that tend to be consumed by people with problematic alcohol use. Scotland, Ireland and Wales have led the way in this arena and it's time for England to catch up.”