Studies have shown there’s an increase in high-risk drinking for older individuals. While older people (those 65 or older) are less likely to drink than younger people, the CDC found that older Americans are more likely to binge drink more often.
Why have seniors started to turn to alcohol more than ever, and what impact is it having on their lives and communities?
Causes of late-in-life drinking
The uptick in senior drinking started during the economic downturn in 2008, which caused anxiety and stress for these adults. Another contributing factor is the increased social acceptance of alcohol use that wasn’t necessarily present when those over 65 today were younger.
Unfortunately, as a person ages, their sensitivity to alcohol changes. When someone 65 or older has a drink, their blood alcohol levels will be higher than a younger person who consumes the same amount. This is due to older individuals having less muscle mass and their liver metabolizing alcohol slowly.
The potential health and safety impact of alcohol consumption in seniors
Many older Americans who drink are drinking heavily. For many, this has worsened existing health issues and even had negative consequences due to medication interactions.
Additionally, many seniors are still driving. Age alone is a risk factor behind the wheel because many seniors have slower reaction times to emergencies or hazards. This, combined with alcohol consumption, significantly increases the potential of an accident for those in this age group.
Protect your rights after a drunk driving charge
No matter what your age, the consequences of a drunk driving conviction can be severe. Knowing and protecting your rights is a must for those facing DWI charges. Seeking legal advice in this situation is recommended.