The Dangers of Binge Drinking and Older Adults
A recent study by researchers at NYU School of Medicine and the Center for Drug Use and HIV/HCV Research (CDUHR) at NYU College of Global Public Health finds that one in 10 older adults binge drinks.
What exactly is binge drinking?
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism defines binge drinking as a way of drinking alcohol that brings a person’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) to 0.08 grams percent or above. For the average adult male, binge drinking equates consuming five or more drinks in two hours. For the average adult female, it's four or more drinks in about two hours.
For older adults, the number of drinks needed to reach a binge level BAC is lower than for the average adult.
The perils of binge drinking
Having a few drinks once in a while can be relatively harmless. However, binge drinking is very dangerous and can cause serious damage over time, including:
- Falls and fractures
- Cancer of the breast, mouth, throat, esophagus, liver and colon
- Cause diseases such as stroke and liver disease
- Worsen health conditions, such as diabetes and memory loss
- Alcohol dependence
These are just a few of the threats that can happen to someone when they are binge drinking. Keep in mind that when someone is inebriated, they may also become a danger to others, such as being physically or emotionally destructive.
If you suspect that your older loved one is binge drinking or has an alcohol use disorder, seek professional help immediately. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism created the NIAAA Alcohol Treatment Navigator® to help adults find alcohol treatment for themselves or an adult loved one.
Our in-home care services can help keep your loved one where they feel most comfortable: at home. We provide specially trained caregivers to help with everyday tasks, and we provide respite care for when family caregivers need a break.