Drink Wise, Age Well comment on Adrian Chiles ‘Drinkers like us’ BBC documentary

Posted 27.08.2018

On Monday, 27th August broadcaster Adrian Chiles will look at his own and other’s drinking in a BBC2 documentary ‘Drinkers Like Us’ https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0bhkc8b

Julie Breslin, Head of Drink Wise, Age Well – a National Lottery funded programme that helps the over 50s make healthier choices about alcohol – said:

“Tonight’s ‘Drinkers like us’ documentary pulls into sharp focus how easy it is to lose track of your drinking, particularly when you are topping up drinks at home as Adrian Chiles found out. The so called “baby boomers” have grown up in a culture of drinking and that pattern is likely to carry on into later life, as alcohol becomes our default position to cope with stressful situations.

“A major study conducted for Drink Wise, Age Well showed that of those aged 50 plus who said they were drinking more now than in the past, retirement (40%); bereavement (26%) and loss of sense of purpose (20%) were the main reasons given. These are things we are all likely to go through, so our approach is not to preach but to provide authoritative information and insights about alcohol harm and let people make up their own minds.

“For many people, cutting back on their drinking has pretty quick results including losing weight, improved sleep and better mental health. It’s a myth that alcohol improves your mood and helps you sleep. It is in fact the complete opposite.”

Drink Wise, Age Well is a National Lottery funded programme led by the behaviour change charity Addaction and involving four other strategic partners – the Royal Voluntary Service; Developing a Caring Wales (DACW); Addiction NI and the Substance Misuse and Ageing Research Team at the University of Bedfordshire. In total, there are 18 policy, academic and delivery partners working across five Drink Wise, Age Well localities in Sheffield, Glasgow, Devon, Cwm Taf University Health Board area and the Western Trust area in Northern Ireland.

The programme offers an integrated, community-based approach in each of these five areas comprising: delivering one-to-one support; developing individual and community resilience to alcohol misuse; prevention and campaigning and training and workforce skills development.

We also campaign nationally and provide advice and guidance at www.drinkwiseagewell.org.uk including via web chat, which operates Monday to Friday 10am – 4pm and 6pm to 9pm, and 11am – 4pm on Saturday and Sunday.

Over the course of the programme, a body of evidence is being collected on how to prevent alcohol-related harm in people aged 50 and over, which will inform future prevention work in the UK and internationally.