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Alcoholics Ageing with a glass too many

Alcohol addiction is on the rise in all age groups, but it is particularly problematic among senior citizens – who sometimes mix alcohol with their medication. (SRF/

Although there is a downward trend in the amount of alcohol the average person in Switzerland drinks, high risk consumption is on the rise.

According to the Swiss Alcohol Board, the average Swiss went from a yearly consumption of 8.3 litres of pure alcohol in 2013 down to 8.1 litres in 2014. But a study by the Federal Office of Public Health released at the end of 2015, detailed how high-risk alcohol consumption is at its highest level at the onset of retirement age, with nearly 8.1% of people aged 65-74 in the medium-risk group, if not worse.

The World Health Organization defines the “medium-risk” groups as men who consume 40-60g of pure alcohol per day, and women who consume 20-40g.

The study also reveals how, if both types of alcohol high-risk consumption are accounted for –namely chronic consumption and binge drinking – there has been a decisive worsening of the problem among all age groups.

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