Elderly Alcoholics

Elderly Alcoholics

More than 3 million Americans over age 60 have a drinking problem, the
New York Times reported April 18.

Retirement, declining health, loss of loved ones and isolation are
some of the emotional strains that can lead to drinking among older
Americans, who also face fewer of the constraints that limit drinking by
younger people. Older people often have no job to lose, and a social life
that often revolves around happy hour at the retirement community.

Stigma also is worse among older people, who grew up in a time where
alcoholism was widely considered a sin, not a disease.

Despite the problems of late-onset drinking, there are only a handful
of programs nationally that treat the elderly. The American Medical
Association recently issured physician guidelines to help doctors spot
the signs of alcoholism among older patients.

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