Dr Alf is correct and the BMJ are wrong about their facts, as evidenced by ignoring the 70,000 people that GP’s allegedly kill each year, through mistakes of diagnosis and their inability to clear malingering and hypochondriac out of their surgeries.
Older people certainly drink more alcohol in the form of wine and beer but generally they are not consumers of recreational or hard drugs.
UK adults now consume double the global average for alcohol bested only by Lithuanians who drank the most.
The exception is the former hippies and “flower children” of the 1960s, who took LSD on sugar lumps at pop concerts and who smoked pot and never stopped, thus leaving the drugs in their brains over a period of 50 to 60 years.
These recreational drugs are the province of the young and the young unemployed and, of course, City types who snort cocaine to be fashionable and to enhance their performance at work.
The drug problem as a whole needs to be tackled by educating people and creating circumstances whereby demand is reduced dramatically plus interdicting the demand and increasing deterrence among drug dealers.