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Alcohol and Older Adults

answered 02:03 PM EST, Wed June 06, 2012
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anonymous anonymous
How much alcohol should a woman in their 60s drink each day? My mom has a couple of glasses of wine each night, which I understand is well within the normal parameters and is even a healthy amount for heart health. However it seems to make her a bit drunk and It seems to me that if she is consuming an amount that is enough to get her tipsy on a daily basis that this is not ideal for other reasons.

Dr. James Strawbridge Says...

Some older adults experience idiosyncratic intoxication---they become a bit tipsy or even drunk from small amounts of alcohol that would not intoxicate most people. This indicates a diminished tolerance to alcohol possibly caused by advance age. Wrongly believing that alcoholism is determined by the amount of alcohol consumed, a family can overlook an older relative's problem if she/he only has one or two drinks at night. But each drink, may affect the older individual's problem as though they had five or six.

To order a free copy of Substance Abuse among Older Adults, published by the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services, contact the National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Information at 800-279-6686 and ask for Tip 26. Order another copy for the older adult's primary care physician.

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Page last updated Jun 08, 2012

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