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Finland: Elderly more marginalised, developing alcohol problems

Alcohol use among Finland’s senior citizens is growing and older women are now becoming alcoholics at the same rate as men. The increase is apparent in home care visits and more trips to the hospital.

The Finnish Medical Society Duodecim estimates that Finland is home to half a million high-risk users of alcohol, whose heavy drinking creates health problems. While the country’s overall consumption is on par with the European average, heavy drinking is still a major problem. Duodecim says one in every five male health care patients is a problem drinker, and every tenth female is also.

The senior substance abuse branch of the Finnish charity Sininauhaliitto says that among Finland’s elderly, most people control their drinking, but there is a growing trend for seniors to cross the boundaries into heavy drinking habits and develop a problem.

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