Older alcohol dependent drinkers urged to get help – BBC News

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A recovering alcoholic has urged other dependent drinkers over the age of 40 to tackle the stigma and get help to avoid developing serious health issues.

Angie, 61, from Rhydyfelin, Rhondda Cynon Taff, was alcohol dependent for 10 years after having to give up work.

A year after seeking help she now works with others to rebuild their lives.

Her appeal comes as charity Barod Cymru has called for frontline staff at care homes and day centres to be trained to spot early signs of alcoholism.

A Welsh Local Government Association spokesman said the suggestion “warrants further discussion and consideration”.

Last year, an advisory panel on substance misuse reported that nearly 20% of assessments with specialist services in 2015-16 involved those aged over 50.

Its report, Substance Misuse in an Ageing Population, added within this age group there were 3,515 assessments, which was up almost 30% over five years.

More than 80% of those cases were alcohol related.

The report also found over five years, alcohol-related hospital admissions increased by 35% for those 65 and over.

“I was alcohol dependent for quite some time brought on by quite a lot of drama in my life over the years,” said former cleaner Angie, who is now a support user for the Drink Wise Age Well programme.

“I had trouble dealing with it. The stigma of actually admitting I had a drink problem scared the life out of me.

“Eventually I knew I had to because it was affecting my health in general and I knew I couldn’t keep going that way.”

Angie’s problems started in earnest two years after having to retire at 48. She became isolated and lonely from less socialising, would drink every day and consume three and a half litres of whisky a week.

Her relationship with her family deteriorated and

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