Alcohol Abuse
Alcohol Abuse

Alcohol Abuse

According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, 17.6 million people in the United States have an alcohol problem. In moderation, alcohol may be safe for some healthy individuals. Older men and women, however, frequently suffer from anxiety and depression. They have chronic diseases and take prescription and over-the-counter drugs. Alcohol has the potential to interact with many chronic diseases, as well as medications, making older adults more vulnerable to the effects of drinking in late life.


According a 2010 study at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine, more than a third of drinkers age 60 and older use alcohol in amounts that are excessive or can be harmful in combination with certain diseases or medications.  The National Survey on Drug Use and Health reported binge drinking (five or more drinks a day) in 14 percent of men and 3 percent of women age 65 or older. "At-risk" drinking (two or more drinks a day) occurred in 13 percent of men and eight percent of women in the same age group.


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Learn more in our Infoaging Guide to Alcohol Abuse in Older Adults.



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