Oh God he’s drinking again!

Oh God he's drinking again!
Baby Boomer
This was a candid shot taken at the Bristol Balloon Fiesta. I have no idea if this couple were together or if they just crossed paths as my lens caught them. My comments and commentry bear no connection to the people in the photograph. Thank you Neil Moralee.
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Since the 1950s, alcohol consumption in the UK has gradually increased. The NHS now spends more on alcohol-related illness among baby boomers than any other age group, with £825m spent on 55 to 74-year-olds in 2010-11 compared to £64m on under-24s.

Estimates also suggest about nine per cent of men and three per cent of women in the UK show signs of alcohol dependence.

But it is the functioning alcoholic that can slip under the radar - before their health issues are severe enough to need treatment.

Dr John Marsden, an alcohol and drug dependency expert from King's College London, says a typical functioning alcoholic can manage to hold down a job despite having a "very severe drinking problem that they have been incubating over a very long period".

"Alcohol problems are difficult to understand because they do not occur overnight. They are hidden from view which makes functioning alcoholics a group we cannot easily help."

"Some people can control their drinking after work, others can't. If people are frequently drinking harmful levels of alcohol - over 50 units a week for men, 35 for women - most will end up suffering some form of physical, mental or social harm."

A lifetime's worth of drinking is catching up with baby boomers, says Emily Robinson from the Alcohol Concern.

There is a clear reason the baby boomer generation is now most at risk from alcohol-related problems, argues Dr Marsden.

A hard-working generation led to an appetite for entertainment and relaxation.

"There was work, there was money and increasingly the motivation to alter one's mood quickly. Alcohol has been the drug of choice to do that.

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I thought deeply about all of this information as I compiled it and found it all a little worrying, so I am off to get a drink.

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