Binge drinking is identified as consuming more than 4 drinks in one sitting, or in about two hours, for women and 5 drinks for men.1
While most people think of college parties when they hear the words binge drinking, there is another population that is facing increasing issues with alcohol consumption. Alcoholism among the elderly is on the rise as seniors follow the excessive consumption patterns of binge drinking.
Studies show that over an estimated 10% of seniors are current binge drinkers, with a higher prevalence of senior binge drinking among elderly men. Many older people who binge drink also consume other substances, such as cannabis or tobacco.2 Our Banyan Stuart rehab center explores the risks in the habits of elderly alcoholics.
What’s Causing an Increase in Alcoholism Among the Elderly?
The increase of elderly people binge drinking is due to a variety of factors among older populations. An estimated 70% of hospitalized seniors and 50% of all nursing home residents face alcohol-related issues.3 Aging Americans from the Baby Boomer and other generations have increasingly lax views of alcohol, marijuana, and other substances. These relaxed views may be contributing to the rise in binge drinking among older people. The common fears of aging can also contribute, with seniors drinking to cope with their stresses.
It is important to remember that binge drinking is just as dangerous as alcoholism, and those who struggle with binge drinking need a professional Florida alcohol detox to help them get sober.
Is Binge Drinking in Senior Citizens Dangerous?
Binge drinking is dangerous no matter the drinker’s age, but it’s especially dangerous for elderly individuals. When considering the link between seniors and alcohol overconsumption, it’s important to also consider the physical effects of binge drinking or alcoholism. There are strong connections between alcoholism and dementia, with consistent binge drinking producing dementia-like symptoms for many alcoholics. For seniors, alcohol may worsen existing cognitive decline.
Binge drinking and alcoholism among seniors are also dangerous when considering how likely alcohol is to interact with a vast number of prescription drugs. Many seniors are on prescription medications for a variety of health conditions, and alcohol, especially binge drinking, puts the elderly at risk.
If you feel that someone you care about may be at risk, do not wait for something drastic to happen to act. Whether it is an elderly alcoholic parent, family member, or friend, do not wait until it is too late.