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Older Americans and Binge Drinking

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Alcohol has been one of the most commonly used substances for recreation around the world since 6,000 BCE and continues to modern times.

Consuming alcohol in moderation does not typically pose a major health risk for many people.

However, alcohol has a high potential for abuse and if consumed in excess and high frequency, it can become problematic in many ways.

Alcohol is one of the most dangerous substances to develop a dependency on.

Researchers from New York University conducted a study that found that 1 in 10 adults aged over 65 years currently engages in binge drinking. In the U.S., the standard of alcohol intoxication from binge drinking is indicated by a blood alcohol concentration minimum of 0.08% within two hours of consumption.

The common standard of binge drinking for men is 5 alcoholic drinks in two hours.

The common standard of binge drinking for women is 4 alcoholic drinks in two hours.

However, many factors influence intoxication, including the number and strength of the alcoholic drink, body weight, sex, age, and tolerance.

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Elderly Binge Drinking

As individual ages, especially after the age of 65, he or she becomes more susceptible and vulnerable to various illness and health conditions.

Often, these health issues are exacerbated by alcohol abuse, especially binge drinking because of the massive amount of alcohol intake in such a short period.

The study from New York University found that elderly binge drinkers also share common diseases.

41% have hypertension, 23.1% have cardiovascular disease, and 17.7% have diabetes.

Researchers, while objective in the study, postulated the theory that as these groups of individuals age and experience the discomfort of the symptoms of these diseases, they are likely to use alcohol as a coping mechanism.

This is known as self-medicating. The study also indicated the majority of elderly binge drinking is by African-American males in lower-income populations as opposed to white females in higher-income populations.

However, elderly binge drinking affects all populations in the U.S.

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Health Risks of Binge Drinking for the Elderly

Not only does binge drinking present immediate physical health risks, but it also increases the chances of falling or other accidents from further physical impairment and mobility caused by alcohol.

Another factor that contributes to the health risks of older Americans binge drinking is the fact that they have less body water than when they were younger.

Therefore, this means they are susceptible to becoming more easily intoxicated and possibly contract alcohol poisoning.

The liver plays a particularly large role in metabolizing alcohol.

As an individual age, the organs age as well, including the liver and its ability to function at optimal performance.

The effects of alcohol can be much more detrimental, especially if the elder individual is taking medications such as antiseizure or psychotropic medications that impact liver functioning.

Many elderly people also take prescription blood thinners and aspirin, which when taken with alcohol, increases the risk of internal stomach bleeding.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported a major risk factor in elderly binge drinking is domestic abuse and violence toward spouses, as well as sexually transmitted infections as a result of lowered inhibition and propensity for casual unprotected sex.

Furthermore, the CDC reported that frequent binge drinking among the elderly has the potential to increase the risk for cancer, dementia, and liver disease, which the elderly are already more susceptible to than younger people.

Alcohol Use Disorder (Alcoholism)

Alcohol use disorder is a mental health condition that is developed as a result of frequent heavy alcohol use.

It is characterized as a chronic compulsion to consume alcohol, often without regard to the amount consumed or frequency of use.

This is sometimes referred to as alcoholism. Dependency almost always presents withdrawal symptoms that manifest when an individual stops using alcohol after prolonged use.

Alcohol is one of the most dangerous substances to withdraw from; it can be lethal in some cases. Medical supervision is highly recommended when attempting to withdraw from alcohol use disorder regardless of biopsychosocial factors.

Medical detoxification is one of the first steps to treat alcohol use disorder.

This process will eliminate the toxins from alcohol throughout your body.

This is often performed by medical healthcare professionals at rehabilitation centers or medical settings.

It can be highly difficult to cope with alcohol use disorder on one’s own. Isolation often leads to more problems, including damaged relationships, job loss, financial struggles, and suicidal ideation and/or tendencies.

If you or someone you know has these feelings, it is important to seek help immediately.

Early intervention may help prevent alcohol from further damage to the individual.

Several methods of treatment are available for alcohol use disorder.

Some commonly used treatments are psychotherapy, counseling, and sometimes pharmaceutical intervention.

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Treatment for Alcohol Use Disorder

A variety of methods have been successfully used to treat alcohol use disorder.

Many mental health treatment centers or rehabilitation clinics offer treatment through inpatient and outpatient programs.

If the case is too severe to receive treatment in an outpatient setting, then admission into a mental health treatment center or rehabilitation clinic is the next step to obtain the proper treatment.

Alcohol use disorder is treated through various therapies, pharmaceutical interventions, and counseling from healthcare professionals, such as psychiatrists, psychologists, counselors, psychiatric nurses, and social workers.

Typically, only a licensed medical doctor such as a psychiatrist can prescribe medication.

However, in some states, psychologists can prescribe medication.

Finding Help for Binge Drinking

Drinking to excess can come with several unintended consequences that negatively affect not only the individual struggling with a drinking problem but also family and friends who see the damage left in its trail.

Alcohol abuse is a difficult problem to deal with, and it can be painful and frustrating for everyone.

It is important to know that you are not alone, and there is help available for you or your loved one. Recovery is a process that requires patience, support, and perseverance.

At Resurgence Behavioral Health, you will receive professional treatment from experienced professionals who care about their clients.

A brighter future of well-being and stability is a call away.

Alcoholism is medically referred to as alcohol use disorder and affects millions of Americans.

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Seeking treatment for your dependency is one of the bravest things you can do for yourself.

Do not let your situation stop you from contacting Resurgence Behavioral Health.

We provide honest and accurate pricing information for all of our treatment options.

We offer free insurance verification. Call us today to see if you qualify.

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Reach Out and Receive Treatment Today

Do not wait any further! Help is available to you when you need it.

You are not alone in this struggle. The trained professionals at Resurgence Behavioral Health genuinely care about you and dedicate their lives to make sure you can live yours.

To overcome substance addiction, proper drug therapy treatment is required.

It is not an easy walk, but our treatment is the best option when it comes to your health.

We provide the most professional treatment to give you a fighting chance in a rough battle.

Let today be the day you reach out to Resurgence Behavioral Health so that you can begin to reclaim the life you have been missing!

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Alexa Iocco

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