The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice) has warned that there is no safe level of alcohol consumption for those in middle-age.
The warning is aimed particularly at those aged between 40 and 64 as this is the group that is most vulnerable to dementia, disability and fragility. The watchdog is also calling for better warnings that not only highlight the dangers of drinking, but also encourage people to reduce the amount they drink as much as possible.
In a world where social drinking has become perfectly normal and acceptable, Nice’s Public Health Advisory Committee commented:
“Social norms can affect behavioural risks. It is becoming less usual for people to smoke and that is an important driver for change. Social norms also exist for other behaviours and need to be challenged. Drinking alcohol daily at home has become normal for some people and this poses a threat to health.”
Alcohol Concern has welcomed the new guidance and also confirmed that alcohol is in fact a direct cause for the increasing number of people in the UK who now have dementia. The Chief Executive of the charity, Jackie Ballard commented:
“We would like the government to act on this increasing evidence to implement mandatory health warnings on alcohol, as is standard in other countries, to help people know the links between health conditions and alcohol consumption.”
Although both charities are recommending that people cut down on consumption, they have asserted that contrary to some media reports, they are not telling people to become teetotal.
If you think that you or someone you know could have a problem with alcohol then please feel free to visit our Alcohol Addiction Treatment and Rehabilitation page for more information about the signs, symptoms and treatments that are available.