Monday, December 7, 2015

Alcohol Addiction Among Baby Boomers Is On The Rise

Alcohol Addiction Among Baby Boomers Is On The Rise

As baby boomers reach retirement age their are certain health concerns that become more apparent or concerning than others; dementia, Alzheimer's, arthritis, heart problems, and various types of cancer seems to be high on the list.

Addiction, if it were discussed would in all probability center upon prescription drugs. But here, the discussion would probably expand to include all age groups and both genders.

Alcohol addiction among retiree's would probably not even enter the discussion. Yet, recent studies and statistics show that people over the age of 50 are now abusing alcohol at the highest rate ever for this age group. Research shows that about 40% of people over 65 drink, despite the fact that the body's ability to break down alcohol decreases with age, and that alcohol can have dangerous synergy with many medicines taken by seniors.

According to experts "you are at risk of drinking too much if you are a woman who has more than 3 drinks at one time or more than 7 drinks a week. For men the number is 4 drinks at a time or more than 14 drinks per week." For boomers, the number would even be lower because of their body's inability to breakdown the alcohol due to age.

Why the sudden surge among this age group? According to experts boomers resort to alcohol to 'deal' with "major life changes that occur within a short period of time." Some examples they give are loss of independence because of some physical limitation, loss of people they are close to (family or friends), sense of isolation because of retirement or not going to work.

Interestingly, recent surveys have shown that 50% of grown children of boomers didn't think that substance abuse was a problem among their parents age group; even though 37% say that their parents practice risky habits such as having more than 3 drinks in a single sitting.


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"50+ Live Better, Longer. Seniors: The New Face Of Addiction", R. Scott Rappold
Substance Abuse and Addiction Health Center. Alcohol and Drug Problems Overview 1
Substance Abuse and Addiction Health Center. Alcohol and Drug Problems Overview 2

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