People Over Age 60 May Turn to Alcohol Abuse as Late Life Changes Occur

alcohol abuseAlcohol abuse is a real issue for a significant number of Americans over age 60. A National Survey on Drug Use and Health (2013) reported that more than 14 percent of people ages 60-64 engaged in binge drinking and close to five percent in that age range were regular heavy drinkers. Misuse of alcohol is an issue that can affect those of any age, even senior adults.

For many, alcohol abuse may start early in life and continue throughout adulthood. There are some, however, whose misuse begins much later and is referred to as late-onset alcoholism. This later-life alcohol abuse is often triggered by one or more of the many changes that come during these years. The empty nest and sudden change in family dynamics can prompt a change in drinking habits. So, too, can retirement and the loss of daily purpose and socialization, divorce or the death of a spouse, health issues and decline in income. Someone who never over-drank as a young person may find that they are turning to alcohol more in later life when confronted with one or more of these losses.

Maybe you never had a problem with alcohol abuse when you were younger, but recognize symptoms of alcohol abuse in your senior years. If you recognize these symptoms, if loved ones in your life or those you work with share concern about your drinking, if you drink more and sooner in the day than you plan or if you find yourself turning to alcohol on a regular basis to cope – please visit us at Family Guidance Center. Our mental health professionals are here to talk to you and help you with a treatment plan to start you on the road to recovery.