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Drinking whiskey and rye: Alcohol use disorders and older adults

Janice Lynch Schuster

While previous generations were more likely to have had ready access to alcohol, baby boomers had easier access to alcohol, and other substances, such as marijuana, cocaine, crack, and prescription medications. Some people developed lifelong habits and disorders, and some reached late life with their substance use disorders intact.

Janice Lynch Schuster points out that alcohol addiction and alcohol use disorders are among the worrisome trends in substance abuse among older adults. She reminds journalists who cover issues of addiction and treatment that even 85-year olds can have addiction or dependency problems. However, because of their age, substance abuse, whether from alcohol, opioids or other substances, may be mistaken for other health problems like cognitive decline or confusion.

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