Alcohol Use and Older Adults - topical publications
Older adults are at high risk for alcohol abuse. From 5.6 million to 8 million American seniors have at least one mental health condition or a problem linked to substance abuse or misuse, the Committee has estimated, describing their estimate as "a conservative one", i.e. between 14% and 20% of elderly Americans. In 2010, nearly 2.4 million people ages 50 to 59 said they had abused prescription or illegal drugs within the past month; more than double that of 2002, according to data from the National Institutes of Health. http://www.nih.gov/news/health/jun2012/nia-06.htm
Risk factors include a previous history of alcohol problems, retirement, divorce, a major life change, social isolation, and genetic predisposition. A dependency on alcohol or other drugs can interfere with the ability to make treatment decisions and follow through with day-to-day responsibilities, including taking medication and having important screenings or tests. In addition, alcohol or drug use often increases recovery time.
"We found that women who moderately drank alcohol also performed better on measures of attention, concentration, psychomotor skills, verbal-associative capacities and oral fluency.
The SeniorWISE® research projects have been funded from different sources including the National Institute on Aging, National Institute of Mental Health, and National Institute of Nursing Research and the St. David's Foundation in Austin, Texas.
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