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New service to tackle drug abuse

PUBLISHED: 10:39 10 May 2010 | UPDATED: 17:43 30 June 2010

People over the age of 50 who are addicted to alcohol or drugs will now be offered specialist help in a brand new service which is the first of its kind in the region.

People over the age of 50 who are addicted to alcohol or drugs will now be offered specialist help in a brand new service which is the first of its kind in the region.

Substance misuse among this age group is often considered as an “invisible epidemic” and alcohol abuse is high but up until now there has been no specific advice or treatment available.

Norfolk based charity, NORCAS, which supports those who have problems with addictive behaviours, has launched a new Over 50s Outreach service.

It is specifically designed to support people aged 50 and above who have alcohol or drug issues, including prescribed medication and has been set up following discussions with health professionals in all sectors who identified a “significant need” for the project.

Simon Wakefield, NORCAS substance misuse worker, said older people experienced a lot more problems related to substance abuse than younger people.

“There is a forgotten generation of 50-somethings who are dependent on drugs or alcohol,” he said. “There are a number of reasons why people over 50 can be more vulnerable.

“Older people are more prone to adverse effects because they are more strongly affected by alcohol than younger people. This is because of changes in the way the body processes alcohol as a person ages.


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