Binge drinking is not just a problem for college kids a new study finds
Research published today in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society by Dr. Benjamin, Han et.al. found that over one tenth of adults over 65 years old, in the United States, are esitmated to be binge drinkers. College students typically come to mind when thinking of binge drinking. This steryotype leaves out older adults who we now see have a signicant problem with binge drinking. Compounding the problems already associated with bing drinking, older adults dont to realize that as they age their bodies are more sensitive to alcohol. Joseph Palamar, an associate professor in the department of population health at NYU Langone Health reminds us that we have to keep an eye on the older population… stating that we focus so much on young people and their risky drinking.
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and AlcoholismExternal defines binge drinking as a pattern of drinking that brings a person’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) to 0.08 grams percent or above. This tends to happen when men consume 5 or more drinks or women consume 4 or more drinks in about 2 hours. Most people who binge drink are not alcohol dependent which is a requirement of alcohol addiction.
According to the “Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015-2020,” U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Department of Agriculture, moderate drinking is up to 1 drink per day for women and up to 2 drinks per day for men. According to the National Counsel on Aging, 80% of older adults have at least one chronic condition. Binge drinking can worsen some chronic diseases, such as hypertension and diabetes, according to experts.
Binge drinking can worsen depression and anxety In addtion, people are more suspetable to depression and anxiety as they deal with the stress of aging. To make things worse, when we are anxous or depressed we are at greater risk to use alcohol to manage these symptoms. Many older adults may feel more comfortable using alcohol to deal with mood then directly talking about feelings. It could even be said, that it is more culturly acceptable to use alcohol to moderate mood then acknowleding feelings of depression or anxiety.
Charles R. Davenport, Psy.D. is a Licensed Psychologist with therapy offices in Sarasota, FL and Venice, FL. Dr. Davenport provides counseling and therapy for adults of all ages who are struggling with anxiety, depression, binge drinking, or other alcohol use problems. Please call 941-321-1971 to schedule an appointment for alcohol treatment.