The associations between young people and binge drinking or the excessive and frequent intake of alcohol are strong and seemingly omnipresent. Through the efforts of marketing officials at major alcoholic beverage companies, youths are often targeted as the ideal customers for beer, liquor, and spirits, and ideas about heavy drinking in college or among young professionals help to bolster the notion that binge drinking is a problem experienced well before middle age. But this focus on the connection between young people and binge drinking may be ignoring an important truth: those entering their senior years may be considerable participants in binge drinking as well. To check up on the drinking habits of older adults, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health analyzed data from thousands of Americans concerning their intake habits.
The results found that a considerable amount of people aged 50 to 64 were involved with at-risk drinking, which was defined as the intake of two or more drinks per day. Among men in this age range, 22% reported such frequent alcohol use, while 9% of female respondents were associated with the trend. The research suggests that those people who are anticipating their later years may be more inclined to drink than has traditionally been thought, and greater measures may need to be explored to help mitigate the risks of the issue.
In particular, more extensive medical screening and greater access to psychological support should be available for older adults, according to medical professionals concerned about drinking’s potential to conflict with the efficacy of geriatric care. A greater attention to the physical and mental needs of older adults may be key to providing more comprehensive and realistic care on every front.
© Copyright 2009 by By Noah Rubinstein, LMFT, LMHC, therapist in Olympia, Washington. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to GoodTherapy.org.
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