Spike in alcohol abuse in older people proves to be a double whammy

Spike in alcohol abuse in older people proves to be a double whammy

A large number of elderly people as a consequence of aging and loneliness witnessed in the absence of children may turn to alcohol. As a result, alcohol abuse is one of the significant issues among the elderly people in the United States (U.S.). In fact, it has become so serious that it is now getting a lot of attention by experts and health care providers in the country.

Overall, the reasons for older adults turning to alcohol can be both psychological and physical in nature. Unfortunately, older people are extremely vulnerable to the adverse effects of alcohol due to poor immunity and health. One of the latest studies, conducted by the researchers from New York University, has claimed to be the first to estimate the problem of alcohol abuse in elderly people through eye-opening findings.

Troubling alcohol abuse trends draw attention

According to the study published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence, binge drinking (also known as excessive episodic drinking) and alcohol use disorder (AUD) have risen at a remarkable scale among adults aged 50 and above. Interestingly, the statistics are comparatively much higher than those for the previous decade. The study also sheds light on another important fact that older women engaging in alcohol abuse are at a greater risk.

By looking at the habits of elderly people between 2005 and 2014, the researchers derived the numbers pertaining to alcohol consumption and binge drinking. It was noticed that the rate of binge drinking and AUD in adults over the age of 50 increased by 19.2 percent and 23.3 percent, respectively.

Terming the trends as troubling, the researchers have underlined the fact that such habits are likely to worsen the overall health of older people. Due to increased physical changes cause of age, chronic disease and dependence on medication, tolerance toward the effects of overindulgence in alcohol weakens in the older people.

Risks higher for older women than men

The authors of the study also drew attention to the fact that older women are comparatively more at risk than men. As women tend to be more affected by the physical changes in their body, the consumption of even lower doses of alcohol impacts them adversely. Compared to their male counterparts, women due to the alarming spike in binge drinking stand a higher chance of being embroiled in risky sexual situations.

Other consequences of alcohol abuse include indulging in socially embarrassing or remorseful behavior that can have repercussions on one’s health and relationships. This is often accompanied by guilt and other similar feelings. The older adults with AUD are also likely to be overlooked or underserved by the family members.

Looking at the gravity of such trends, the researchers have highlighted the need to look into such public health concerns. Alcohol abuse can pose a major hurdle in the path of overall disease management in the older people due to the increased risk of injury and of incurring chronic illness. Therefore, the state needs to ensure that regular screening for alcohol abuse is conducted for the elderly people.

Be the friend in need

The elderly people play a crucial role in our society due to their wide experience and knowledge. They can enrich other’s lives with their wisdom; therefore, the state and other social units must pay heed to the growing problem of alcohol abuse in this demographic. Alcohol addiction, if left untreated, can ruin one’s health as well as personal life. In order to recover from AUD, one just needs to access dedicated treatment.

If you or your loved one is showing signs of alcohol addiction, contact the Alcohol Addiction Helpline of California to get in touch with the best alcohol rehab centers in California. You can also call us at our 24/7 helpline number 855-980-1715 or chat online with our representatives to get the best treatment centers for alcohol addiction in California.

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