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More older women are being treated for alcoholism

By Chris Moncrieff

More older women are entering formal treatment for alcoholism, according to new figures.

Nearly one in 10 of those starting treatment is now a woman aged 60 or more, which compares to 6% five years ago.

In contrast, women beginning treatment for alcoholism between the ages of 18 and 29 went down — from 18% five years ago to 14%, according to latest figures from Public Health England.

There is a similar trend among older men, with 8% of males entering treatment aged over 60 compared to 6% five years ago.

The number of men aged between 18 and 29 entering treatment was 15% last year, up from 19% in 2008/09. Some 835 people — men and women — died during treatment in 2013-14.

Consultant psychiatrist Dr Paul McLaren said: “A common pattern is for regular drinkers, who have had their consumption constrained by the structure of working, tipping into harmful drinking in retirement.”

The figures are being highlighted at the start of Alcohol Awareness Week.

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