The Roundup -

Older Adults And Alcohol Use


A national 2008 survey found that about 40 percent of adults ages 65 and older drink alcohol. Older adults can experience a variety of problems from drinking alcohol, especially those who take certain medications, have health problems, drink heavily.

There are special considerations facing older adults who drink, including increased sensitivity to alcohol. Aging can lower the body’s tolerance for alcohol. Older adults generally experience the effects of alcohol more quickly than when they were younger. This puts older adults at higher risks for falls, car crashes, and other unintentional injuries that may result from drinking.

Increased Health Problems – Certain health problems are common in older adults. Heavy drinking can make these problems worse, including – diabetes, high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, liver problems, osteoporosis, memory problems, mood disorders, bad Interactions with medications.

Many prescription and over-the-counter medications, as well as herbal remedies can be dangerous or even deadly when mixed with alcohol. Medications that can interact badly with alcohol include: aspirin, acetaminophen, cold and allergy medicine, cough syrup, sleeping pills, pain medication, anxiety or depression medicine.

Drinking Guidelines for Older Adults - Adults over age 65, who are healthy and do not take medications, should not have more than 3 drinks on a given day, or 7 drinks in a week. Drinking more than these amounts puts people at risk of serious alcohol problems.

If you have a health problem or take certain medications, you may need to drink less or not at all. Discuss your drinking habits with your physician and make sure you are not causing bigger health problems. (NIAAA, 2014)

If you would like more information, please contact District II Alcohol and Drug Programs at 433-4097 or check us out on Facebook at Richland County STAND or Stand4youth!


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