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More seniors addicted to drugs and alcohol

The Local · 28 Dec 2011, 13:51

Published: 28 Dec 2011 13:51 GMT+01:00

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According to the government’s drug and addiction expert Mechthild Dyckmans, at least 400,000 Germans over 60 are dependent on alcohol.

Among old people who receive round-the-clock care, either in a nursing home or at home, one in seven are addicted to drugs or alcohol, Dyckmans told the Frankfurter Rundschau newspaper.

“These are alarming figures,” Dyckmans said, while pointing out that the number or elderly with addictions will only be increase in coming years as the population ages.

While excessive drinking is often viewed as a problem plaguing young people, statistics show that trends are going in the opposite direction.

About 26,000 people between 10 to 20 had to be treated for acute alcohol poisoning in 2010, 400 fewer than the year before. But 12,350 over 60 received treatment for alcohol poisoning in 2010, an increase of 400.

Currently projects are underway to train doctors and nurses about addiction problems faced by their older patients, but Dyckmans told the Rundschau that more attention still needs to be paid to problems unique to the elderly.

She is due next year to release a new national strategy paper on combatting drug addiction.

Story continues below…

The Local/mdm

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

16:05 December 28, 2011 by derExDeutsche
I think its perfectly fitting. The old Geezers who helped make Germany into the ban happy paradise for politically correct Knitting-Ninnys and Government Pansies, get their just rewards. In their twilight years, a few more years to live, now, their Bier and Smokes will now be Banned for the last 3 years of their lives. 'tja. for their Health, of course;) . Enjoy Old Timers!
18:00 December 28, 2011 by carlm
There's no doubt a tax and regulation that will cure this serious issue and help promote income equality, diversity, tolerance and sustainability all at the same time.

They're old, leave them alone.
18:15 December 28, 2011 by ovalle3.14
In view of the low birth rates, we're looking at a very large amount of lonely people in the future.
22:16 December 28, 2011 by euan.dykes
My grandmother on my fathers side had a drinking problem. Mum kept me and my brother away from her because she would get drunk and provoke my mother with rude remarks. It's up to the elderly to choose their moderation levels but it might be at the cost of distancing themselves from their loved ones. Families need more legal rights over their elderly family in care with regards to Drugs and Alcohol, it's for their own good whether they like it or not. "It's Tough Love" as my very wise mother would say.

Put it this way, would you rather a bottle of your favourite drink by your death bed or your grandchildren?
08:14 December 29, 2011 by raandy
We are getting older, and life expectancy is increasing , people born now have a 1 out of 4 chance of living longer than 100 years.

To give family members more rights over there aged parents is a very scary thing ,Not me I want the same rights they have.
12:37 December 29, 2011 by Englishted

Speaking personally I don't think I would want my grandchildren at my death bed why would you want them to see that?

It would be better to give them memories of happier time.
08:21 December 30, 2011 by heyheyhey
There really is not anything pleasant or enjoyable about alcohol poisoning or drug addiction. If you look with keen interest at those old folks who have these problems you will likely see the faces of people who are lonely, suffering emotionally, and at a loss to get their lives back under control.

This isn't a matter of being able to enjoy your last years. It is much more tragic than that. It is actually very sad. Everyone associated with the person who has these issues suffers also.

For those readers who say "just leave them alone" I would say that you have no real idea how these elderly people suffer. It really can't be pleasant to live their life in the way they are living it.
00:58 December 31, 2011 by nedmesis
My father did of undiagnosed lung cancer. Hi saw quite a few doctors. They just copied each others notes and said he had a heart problem due to too much drinking. I did read the journals afterwards. His wife then pestered him about the drinking. He did occasionally complain about that. Even though he drank some, hi was never violent nor rude just a sick old man.
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