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Alcohol and Aging Kathleen King, ACSW AdvanceMed Hanford Anyone at any age can have a drinking problem. Older vs. Younger Older = less body water = less dilution and increase in intoxication. Women = even less water, and the enzyme that breaks down alcohol is less active. Fountain of Youth

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Alcohol and aging l.jpg

Alcohol and Aging

Kathleen King, ACSW

AdvanceMed Hanford



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Older vs. Younger

  • Older = less body water = less dilution and increase in intoxication.

  • Women = even less water, and the enzyme that breaks down alcohol is less active.


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Fountain of Youth

  • If you want to stay young, don’t abuse alcohol.

  • Alcoholism causes premature aging of the brain.

  • Frontal lobe brain tissue loss.

    • Motor function

    • Problem solving

    • Memory

    • Language


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Medication and Alcohol

  • 1+1 = 4

    Alcohol potentiates the effect of pain killers, anxiety medication (Xanax), sleep medications.


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Effects of Alcohol

  • Auto accidents.

  • Cancer.

  • Masks heart attack symptoms.

  • If diabetic, alcohol affects blood sugar.

  • Conflicts with family.

  • Poor performance at work.


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Get Help If You …

  • Drink to calm nerves, forget worries, get to sleep, deal with loneliness.

  • Skip a meal after a few drinks.

  • Gulp down drinks.

  • Frequently have more than 3 in 1 day.

  • Were drunk more than 3 times in last year.

  • Lie about or hide drinking.

  • Drink alone.

    or, if your doctor has been worried.


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How Much Is Too Much?

  • SAMHSA

    • Heavy use is 5 drinks 5x a month.

    • A binge is 5 drinks once a month.


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Low Risk Drinking

  • No more than 2 per day.

  • Do not drink at least 2 days of the week.

  • Risky drinking is …

    • More than 7 per week for women.

    • More than 14 per week for men.

      Dr. Tom Babor, U. of Connecticut


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Benefits?

  • Some studies suggest moderate drinking may offer some protection from heart disease.

  • National Institute on Alcohol Abuse:

    • Points out this research is limited.

    • Recommends people over 65 consume no more than 1 drink per day.


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Help Is Available

  • Call Kathleen King at AMH: 376-4418.

  • Talk to your doctor.

  • Call any treatment center (alcoholism in yellow pages).


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