Older people are being denied help for problem drinking.

A major investigation of scores of services helping people with alcohol issues has found widespread ageism.

The Drink Wise, Age Well - which runs programmes for older drinkers in Glasgow and four English and Welsh centres - said younger people were routinely prioritised.

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Its findings come despite over 50s now having the most problematic drinking habits as young people increasingly shun alcohol.

The body said it believed denying services to older people could be illegal under equality discrimination laws.

Its research found that some older problem drinkers were merely offered vitamin injections rather than treatment to help reduce or cut alcohol consumption.

Some services, it said, had an attitude that older drinkers were not worth expensive interventions because of their lower life expectancy.

Julie Breslin, Head of Drink Wise, Age Well said: “Changing lifestyles and the older demographic means for the first time in recent history older people in the UK drink more and are more likely to exceed recommended guidelines than other age groups, but help and support has not yet caught up.

“Older people are being written off – sometimes unlawfully - and we believe this report has the potential to change that.”

Drink Wise, Age Well was set up in 2014 by the charity and Addaction and is paid for the by the Big Lottery Fund. It was created because of a rising tide pensioners with drink problems.-

There has been a 45 per cent rise in alcohol related deaths among the over 50s since 2001 across the UK.

The Scottish Government has found binge drinking rising among 65-74 year-olds as it falls among all other age groups.

The Drink Wise, Age Well report is being launched on Monday at the House of Lords. Baroness Hayter who is a member of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Alcohol Harm said, “Contrary to popular belief, harmful drinking is not the preserve of the young.

“In fact, many young people have followed advice and favour the gym or sports field over the pub and have been brought up never to drink and drive.

“Indeed, the only age group in the UK where drinking has increased is the 65-74 year-old. So our consideration – and prevention – of problem drinking has to turn to the retired, or those who’ll approach it over the coming years.

“Drink Wise Age Well has drawn up guidance and recommendations for a swathe of organisations and professions, providing a vital tool in promoting health, happiness and a productive retirement for a growing generation.”

The report called for arbitrary age limits for alcohol services to be removed.