What’s the message for older drinkers?
Dry January is firmly established as a popular campaign, with millions of people taking part. But we have a problem. As our cover story discusses (p6), a very small proportion of these were over 55 – the very age range found most likely to be drinking more than the weekly guidelines, with ingrained habits and a peer supported drinking social life. The outlook for their health is worrying – but how do we encourage them to take the risks seriously and play an active part in their own harm reduction? There’s no doubt that a new alcohol strategy is well overdue – but it must go beyond a focus on young people and have absolute relevance to the self-defined ‘moderate drinkers’ of an older generation who are routinely consuming more than 50 units a week.
On the theme of wellbeing, we have helpful ideas throughout the issue on looking after staff while they take on board the stresses and strains of clients with many complex needs, together with strong and inspiring partnerships on projects ranging from mental health to hepatitis C.
And for a story with many plot twists, its fair share of villains and an eye-watering level of deception, read about the fight to end the reign of the killer cigarette (p16). Will the combustible cling to power – or will vaping save the day?
As always, we want your views!
Claire Brown, editor
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