alcohol abuse among older women

A study recently published in the journal Alcoholism, Clinical and Experimental Research found that binge drinking by women over 60 in the U.S. has increased considerably within the past decade. The National Health Interview Survey has found that binge drinking in women over 60 rises about 4% per year, while the rate for older men remains fairly steady. These results illustrate that even though binge drinking is a much greater problem for men, the continuing increase in numbers for older women is a definite cause for concern.

Alcohol Abuse Among Older Women

Alcohol affects women differently than men because women’s bodies have a harder time metabolizing alcohol in their system. “After a man and woman of the same weight drink the same amount of alcohol, the women’s blood alcohol concentration will tend to be higher, putting her at greater risk for harm,” explained Rosalind Breslow, an epidemiologist at the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA).

She also explained that this lower tolerance level also puts women at a greater risk for cancer, memory loss, or alcohol related liver disease. It can also worsen or cause certain medical conditions that affect seniors, such as osteoporosis, stroke, and high blood pressure, as well as making them more susceptible to falls and injury.

Older women generally drink less or abstain from alcohol more than their male counterparts, and as a result of that, their health care providers are usually less likely to recognize at-risk drinking and alcohol problems in this population. 

Unfortunately, only a small percentage of elderly women who abuse alcohol seek help in specialized addiction treatment settings. Not dealing with the problem of substance use will lead to further physical and mental health challenges. When seeking addiction treatment for older women you’ll want to find a treatment center that not only has programs specifically for women, but is also sensitive to, and knowledgeable of, the challenges that face seniors that are over 60. It is never too late to ask for help, and there is no shame in reaching out. Addiction is a disease, not a moral deficiency, and can be conquered with the right mindset and determination.

At Asana Recovery, we understand how difficult recovering from these addictions through our daily work to help those struggling most from this disease. While some may believe they can make it alone, rehabilitation programs are essential in the fight to break dependency. The road ahead is not a smooth or easy one, but you can traverse it if done so with the support of the right team. Counseling and aftercare processes can assist you by addressing the psychological facets that led you to addition and help you build a structure from which to better cope with life without succumbing to addiction.

The supervised detoxification and residential treatment programs at Asana Recovery are offered in a supportive, relaxing, and inspiring environment. We’re deeply committed to ensuring your long-term recovery, and guiding you on your path to a healthier and happier future. There is no better time than now, and we’re always available to speak with you. Call us at (949) 438-4504 to learn more about our comprehensive drug and alcohol addiction treatment program today.


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