A new preliminary study conducted by the Prince Of Wales Hospital on 240 baby boomers, the sixty years plus age group, has suggested that nearly one in five of the participants had some form of substance abuse with alcohol being the most prevalent, it’s being referred to as the ‘Silver Tsunami’. The UNSW classify heavy drinkers as three or more drinks daily for men and two or more for women. As older people cannot metabolise alcohol as efficiently as a younger person and if the person is on medication the alcohol can interfere with the body’s ability to metabolise it putting the drinker at an even greater risk of accidents, falls, cognitive impairment and even earlier death.
Due to the lack of drug and alcohol services for this particular age group, The Director of the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre Mr Michael Farrell said “We expect them to be making demands on the medical in a way they haven’t in the past”. He also added that “It isn’t an immediate problem but it is something we need to think about and plan towards”.