We need to address alcohol abuse among older adults. New research projects a doubling of the number of older adults who suffer from alcohol abuse. Between 2002 and 2006, there were an estimated 2.8 million adults over 50 with alcohol problems. By 2020, the number is expected to grow to 5.7 million. Another study found increased alcohol consumption specifically around retirement; over the next several years a high number of baby boomers will be retiring.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Association has a host of materials in English and Spanish on how to help people and families with substance abuse problems. It offers practical tips for the identification, screening and assessment of alcohol abuse. It also offers a host of information on treatment and recovery for older adults who suffer from alcohol abuse.
If you’re interested in learning more about the link between retirement, aging and substance misuse, Google offers this book commissioned by the National Institute on Health, based on the findings from a 10-year study, for free: Retirement and the Hidden Epidemic, by Peter A. Bamberger and Samuel B. Bacharach.
If you’d like to further understand the consequences of alcohol abuse, click here to read Alcohol: Are you feeling its effects?