Introduction

Alcoholism has been on the decline among the young adults as well as the people in their middle ages in the United Kingdom and Australia. This is as per some recent studies. Binge drinking in the United States has also been on the decline among the younger drinkers between 1991 and 2018.

However, among the adults above 50 years, excessive consumption of alcohol has been increasing at a significant rate. The worst affected are those with 60 years and over. This is according to an article published in the British Medical Journal.

Drug and alcohol abuse among seniors

Data from the United Kingdom National statistics office indicates that in 2016, there was a significant decrease in persons using alcohol. Adult females consuming alcohol heavily was also on the rise. The same information reveals that those with more than 50 years of age were leading in the past year. The same age group also has a higher rate of lifetime abuse of drugs and substances.

Risks associated with taking alcohol among adults

•    Tolerance- as you age, your body becomes less tolerant of alcohol compared to the younger people. You are therefore prone to accidents associated with drinking.

•    Health complications- if you are suffering from any disease common with older people, the conditions may worsen due to taking alcohol. The medications are taken also do not go well with alcohol.

It is advisable to avoid alcohol use if you have any health complications and you are under medication.

Recommended quantities

If you must use alcohol, you have to take it in moderation.  Senior adults whose health is considered good should take no more than up to approximately 29ml of alcohol daily.

In the US, this is the same as one 44ml of alcoholic beverage, or 350 ml regular beer.

Reasons for drug and substance abuse among the seniors

1.    Life experiences- This may lead to one abusing drugs and alcohol. Example, being isolated from the family, loss of a loved one, and retirement.

2.     Way of life- some people started taking alcohol while still young. To them, that is their way of life.

3.    Stress –some drink to try to overcome all the issues associated with the natural aging process.

4.    Depression and prolonged period of pain- drug and alcohol abuse is also due to depression and chronic pain

5.    Social changes –technological changes have taken a toll on some of these senior people.

6.    Change of living environment- has affected the emotional and social attachment among families.

7.    Lack of knowledge of substance abuse among seniors.

Signs of alcohol abuse among the seniors

•    Taking alcohol without the knowledge of family members and sometimes friends.

•     Regularly taking alcohol on or before dinner.

•    For those under prescription drugs, consuming alcohol despite being warned.

•    Slow speech with breathe smelling alcohol

•    Presence empty  beer bottles

•    A different appearance characterized by confusion and memory loss.

Prescription drugs abuse

Some of the signs include

•    Getting the same prescription from different doctors or pharmacies.

•    Taking an overdose

•    Is dependent on some medicine to function.

•    Is ready to defend him/her when issues related to medicine arise.

•    Sneaking and carrying more medicine than required.

Published by Sister wives