As baby boomers approach their golden years, they are embracing wellness and wine — two things that don’t always go together.
While a glass of red wine a day may reduce the risk of heart disease, many boomers are drinking a lot more and not realizing they are increasing their potential risks for other serious health problems, ranging from alcohol abuse disorders to high blood pressure, liver disease, pancreatitis and certain cancers, says Dr. Robert Huebner, acting director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism’s Division of Treatment and Recovery Research.
“People need to be mindful of the risks associated with risky drinking in the same way this generation is more mindful of nutrition in general,” Huebner said. Between 2000 to 2008, the number of substance abuse treatment admissions for people age 50 and older increased by 70 percent, according to a recent study by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Previous research suggested that the number of older substance abusers may rise to as many as 4.4 million by 2020, up from 1.7 million seniors in 2001.
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