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  • Lyn Reed

A note about age and alcohol

It is worth mentioning the relationship between age and alcohol.

Most of us drink less as we get older. But some of us maintain heavy drinking patterns throughout life. Some people develop problems with drink for the first time during their later years.

Several factors combine to make drinking an increasingly risky behaviour as we age. One of the main ones is that our ability to metabolise alcohol declines. The volume of drink we were able to consume when we were young without having any adverse effect, has more impact on us in our later years.

As with any age group, dealing with difficult emotions such as loneliness, sadness, loss - can feel less painful when we drink, although such emotional pain will return soon enough. However, older people often have less resilience and usually deal with more losses than other age groups. Levels of stress and anxiety vary from one individual to another and our historic relationship with alcohol needs to be considered.

Whilst alcohol addiction is a common problem, our own addiction journey is ours alone. But we don't have to do the journey of recovery on our own. Reaching out and seeking support is an important step if we are to make the changes we want to make.

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