Alcoholism among older adults is on the rise. Family members, friends, pharmacists, and health care providers can all be involved in preventing drug abuse among older adults. Know the behavior associated with alcoholism, so you can look out for the senior(s) in your life.
Look for the Warning Signs
A person’s behavior, especially uncharacteristic changes in his or her behavior, can signal a possible problem.
- Being unable to limit the amount he or she drinks
- Being unable to have fun without drinking
- Drinking alone
- Complaining about nausea or discomfort when he or she hasn't had a drink in a while
- Repeatedly neglecting responsibilities at home or at work
- Withdrawing from family, friends and normal, everyday activities
- Being unable to remember prior conversations or commitments
Asking the right questions can help you determine if a problem exists:
- Have you ever felt you should Cut down on your drinking?
- Have people Annoyed you by criticizing your drinking?
- Have you ever felt bad or Guilty about your drinking?
- Have you ever had a drink first thing in the morning to steady your nevers or to get rid of a hangover (Eye opener)?
If your loved one answers yes to two or more of these questions, he or she could need help. You can download the Cage Questionnaire here, a widely used screening test for problem drinking and potential alcohol problems.
April is Alcoholism Awareness month and we encourage all of our patients to discuss their drinking habits with their FPG doctor.