A NEW facility will provide ways to help over 50s manage their drinking when it opens today in North Glasgow.

The Drink Wise, Age Well programme will operate out of Maryhill Burgh Halls and help older adults reduce their alcohol consumption where it has the potential to cause them harm.

The programme has been funded by the National Lottery and has been developed because higher risk drinking is declining in every other age group except the over 50s in the UK.

Drink Wise, Age Well helps people aged 50 plus make healthier choices about alcohol as they age.

Those behind the programme say that the reasons for the rise in problem drinking among the over 50s are complex. An ageing population having grown up in a culture of drinking, or using alcohol to cope with later life transitions is part of it.

A study of people receiving direct support from Drink Wise, Age Well has also shown that 59 per cent are late-onset drinkers who have been using alcohol to cope with life changes such as empty-nest, retirement and bereavement.

The Maryhill facility demonstrates one of the key strands of the programme, which is that people who have come through recovery often emerge with a passion to help others and their experience of the impact of drinking on their lives makes them uniquely qualified to support their peers.

The new facility is opening just in time for Volunteers Week, which runs from June 1 to 7. The week celebrates the contribution volunteers make to the running of activities and programmes throughout the UK. The facility is a satellite of Drink Wise, Age Well’s main base in Norfolk Street, and will be run mainly by volunteers.

MSP Bob Doris will attend the opening. He said: “Scotland is leading the world in tackling problem drinking through the introduction of Minimum Unit Pricing.

“It is with great pleasure therefore that I join with Drink Wise, Age Well in opening this new facility in Scotland’s largest city.

“The programme’s refreshing approach to supporting older adults is changing and saving lives and I wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone who is worried about their own drinking, or the drinking of someone they care about.”