When you think about heavy alcohol use, many people typically think of early twenty-somethings who are partying at frat houses or boozing it up in Cabo. Most people wouldn't think to look at the 65 and older set. New research has taken that stereotype and turned it on its head. Surprisingly, the senior citizen demographic is drinking at unsafe levels regularly. High alcohol consumption at this age could have significant health consequences, researchers caution. As the baby boomer set ages and their alcohol use stays the same as when they were younger or increases, health officials raise significant concerns. This leaves many to wonder, who is actually partying harder - the twenty-somethings or the over 65 crowd? If you know someone with a drinking problem, call Legacy Freedom. Our Raleigh alcohol rehab center can help them.
Adults are drinking longer as numerous studies have touted the benefits of wine or beer for health. With the approval of your physician, it's not a problem. The issue comes when the amount you're drinking begins to interfere with your ability to care for yourself or loved ones. There are many factors to consider when you use alcohol over the age of 65. Mixing alcohol and some prescription medications can reduce the effects of drugs or intensify them, and many medications contain alcohol. There is truly no way to know which outcome you will experience until the two mix. Even more worrisome is that the effects of alcohol may be intensified as a result of the medications you are taking. When coupled with certain medicines, like antihistamines, pain killers, anti-anxiety drugs or antidepressants, alcohol can produce extremely dangerous or fatal results. Discussing your alcohol use honestly with your physician is crucial to ensuring that you are able to take your medications safely.
Alcohol consumption increases the likelihood for potentially life threatening accidents. Alcohol slows the brain's ability to react and make judgments. It also impairs the reaction time and coordination that seniors rely on for simple tasks like going up and down stairs or operating a motor vehicle. Increasing fall and accident risk by using alcohol can result in very serious and even life threatening injuries. Physicians often miss the signs of alcohol abuse in seniors because the symptoms can mimic the natural signs of aging. Increased falls, difficulty sleeping, faulty memory, depression and loss of appetite are all common signs of aging and indicative of alcohol abuse making it difficult to differentiate between the two. If you're searching for an outpatient Raleigh alcohol rehab center, please call Legacy Freedom.
Alcohol also has the potential to aggravate existing medical conditions or mask serious health conditions. Heavy alcohol use over a long period of time can damage the stomach, kidneys, liver, heart and even the brain's central nervous system. The symptoms of confusion or memory loss that accompany heavy alcohol abuse can also be mistaken for an equally severe disease, Alzheimer's. Alcohol can also dull the body's ability to sense pain or perceive warning signs. The changes that occur in the heart and blood vessels when alcohol is consumed can inhibit the capacity to detect the warning signs of a heart attack like chest pain. Those with high blood pressure or ulcers are particularly at risk for complications from drinking too much.
Recognizing that you have a problem can be difficult, especially if you live alone. As people age, the natural tendency is to stay in and to go out less socially and the ability to tolerate alcohol decreases markedly. The slowing of activity due to illness or surgery, the loss of a spouse or partner, or retirement can make people feel empty, anxious, and sometimes depressed. As a result, many seniors increase their alcohol consumption without realizing it. This list of warning signs can help you determine if you have a problem with alcohol:
- Harming yourself or others while drinking
- Routinely having more than one drink per day
- Hiding or lying about how much alcohol you consume
- Requiring more drinks to catch a buzz
- Experiencing irritability or resentment when you are not drinking
- Drinking alcoholic beverages quickly or gulping
- Using alcohol to forget problems, reduce anxiety or cope with depression
If you are asking yourself if you have a drinking problem or you have been criticized for your drinking, there may be an issue. Many seniors feel guilty about their drinking, but are unsure how to approach the subject with friends, family or loved ones.
Typically there are two types of alcohol abusers among those over the age of 65. They are the situational and chronic drinkers. Situational drinkers are more likely to be women. However, men can turn to alcohol after the loss of a spouse, the diagnosis of a serious illness, retirement or disability. These stressful situations can turn people who have never struggled with alcohol into situational drinkers to cope. Chronic drinkers are those who have had a lifelong struggle with alcohol. Whether they are known to be alcoholics or have used alcohol heavily for years, chronic drinkers make up almost two-thirds of the elderly alcoholic population.
A recent study found that 24 percent of seniors over the age of 65 exhibited binge drinking behaviors. With the Baby Boomer generation expected to make up almost 20 percent of the United States population in the year 2040 the growing concern among experts is that the alcohol consumption of this generation will drastically affect the ability of the health care community to adequately meet the needs of seniors.
A Raleigh Alcohol Rehab Center You Can Trust
Whether you're drinking to cope with the death of your spouse or you have struggled for years with an addiction to alcohol, Legacy Freedom of Raleigh can help. Our approach to addiction treatment is unlike anything you have tried before. We do not use a twelve step program at our Raleigh alcohol rehab center. We believe in utilizing a holistic approach to treat your dependency on alcohol. Together with your Life-Purpose coach, you will create a care plan that is focused on you, not your addiction.
By working one-on-one with your therapist, you will discover why you choose to abuse alcohol. Whether you use to cope with the pain of loss, forget about stressful situations or to cope with an undiagnosed mental illness, our expert team of therapists can help you get to the root of your addiction. By utilizing group therapy, you can connect with your peers as they make their way towards sobriety. This can help you find support and guidance to continue your journey to sobriety outside our outpatient facility.
We also utilize alternative therapies at Legacy Freedom. Each is designed to help you achieve a unique goal in your recovery process. Your Life-Purpose coach and care team will help you choose from more than ten different alternative therapies including acupuncture, physical therapy, nutritional therapy, inner child therapy and EMDR. To learn more about these therapies and how they can help you heal from your addiction to alcohol, explore other articles on our blog and visit the treatments section on our website.
Stop allowing your addiction to isolate you and control your life. A confidential call or click can connect you with our Raleigh alcohol rehab center. What are you waiting for? Call or click today!