Recognizing a Problem

Some people drink heavily for years. Others develop a drinking problem later when trying to adjust to significant changes in their lives. Warning signs include:

  • AdultsHiding or lying about drinking
  • Having more than seven drinks a week
  • Getting hurt or hurting others when drinking

Where to Get Help

  • Ask your doctor
  • Talk to a trained substance abuse counselor
  • Find a support group for older people with alcohol problems
  • Check out a 12 step program like AA (Alcoholics Anonymous)

Ways to cut back or stop drinking

  • Keep track of how much you drink each day
  • Plan days that are free of alcohol each week
  • Don’t have more than one alcoholic drink in an hour
  • Make sure you eat when drinking
  • Develop interests that don’t involve alcohol
  • Learn to say “no thanks” when offered an alcoholic drink

Don’t let alcohol abuse or misuse take a toll on you or your loved one. Older adults should have the opportunity to enjoy life to the fullest.

The information on this page is taken from “Age Page: Alcohol Use in Older People,” National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, May 2009.

If you or someone you know is struggling with substance use, call the Recovery Helpline at 1-866-789-1511.

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