How does alcohol affect older adults?

On Behalf of | Nov 1, 2021 | OWI

When it comes to driving while under the influence, you may think that all adults have the same reaction. You may not know that older adults may have a lower threshold than other people when drinking.

According to WebMD, seniors do not only have a lower tolerance for alcohol but may also be more prone to alcoholism.

How alcohol affects the body

As you age, alcohol affects you differently than it did when you were young. For instance, your body takes longer to break down alcohol. An older adult may not realize that the alcohol remains in his or her system for hours. He or she may sit behind the wheel without considering the danger the driver poses to the rest of the vehicle.

Likewise, it can decrease the effectiveness of some types of medicine and increase the effectiveness of others. For example, if an older adult takes sleeping pills before drinking, he or she may become more drowsy than usual. Alcohol use affects balance and reaction time.

How alcohol becomes a more significant issue

Older adults who indulge in drinking too often may be battling addiction. Average seniors should have seven or fewer drinks per week. They should not have more than three drinks in one day. Those who have trouble with alcohol abuse may have a difficult time functioning in day-to-day life, maintaining relationships or controlling emotions.

A person’s drinking habits may change throughout older adulthood. If someone becomes lonely or bored, drinking might be what they turn to. A person’s alcohol abuse makes them more likely to harm others in a car accident.