While recent headlines have pointed out the disastrous rise in opioid use during the pandemic, less attention has focused on alcohol consumption during the pandemic and relapses among those with alcohol use disorder. Even more under-recognized is the prevalence and burden of alcohol use disorder among women, who too often aren’t included in discussions about the condition.
Yet research from the National Institutes of Health shows that the gender gap between men’s and women’s alcohol consumption is narrowing — and that’s not a good thing. Higher levels of alcohol consumption had already been on the rise in older adults and particularly in women prior to 2020, and the pandemic has only exacerbated this health issue. Continue reading
Every day, stories about the U.S. opioid epidemic appear in daily newsfeeds, and rightly so: they are responsible for two out of every three drug overdoses in the country.
But there’s another drug not included in the usual drug overdose stats which kills almost twice as many people a year as opioids — alcohol. And yet, a casual perusal of the daily headlines usually turns up as many fun or fluff stories about alcohol as ones that suggest the risks and harms of drinking. Continue reading
Can drinking alcohol really help us live longer? According to a recently published study, the answer is … maybe.
You probably guessed that was coming.
Although moderate alcohol intake in older adults previously has been linked to a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and death, recent studies have suggested little, if any, health benefit in consuming alcohol, as The New York Times reported last year. Continue reading
Investigative journalism from Stat News, Wired and the New York Times recently revealed how the alcohol industry is influencing the kind of research the National Institutes of Health will conduct as the NIH seeks funding for alcohol research. That story simply adds more evidence to what some journalists and public health folks have been pointing out: alcohol is one of the most dangerous, destructive drugs there is, but it rarely gets treated as such. Continue reading
It’s legal. It is readily accessible and requires no prescription to purchase. It’s socially acceptable. Yet, it can cause myriad health risks for older adults, from balance problems and falls to drug interactions to death.
“It” is alcohol — a growing concern among clinical and mental health professionals caring for our older population. Continue reading