Younger men get a lot of press around their drinking habits, but what about older men? Research has shown recently as many as 3 in 4 alcohol poisoning deaths occurred to men between the ages of 35-64. These numbers impacted men more than women. Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why and what can be done.
What is Binge Drinking?
One of the most common forms of alcohol abuse is binge drinking. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism has a concrete definition: a pattern of drinking that brings a person’s blood alcohol content (BAC) to 0.08 g/dl. Typically this occurs within five drinks for men in approximately two hours. An elevated BAC, at this level, can cause poor muscle coordination, short-term memory loss, impaired perception, and long term damage to the liver, organs, and brain function.
By the Numbers
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Association (SAMHSA) defines binge drinking as 5 or more alcoholic drinks on the same occasion at least 1 day in the past 30 days. Some additional facts state binge drinkers aged 65 years and older report binge drinking on average five to six times a month with 70% of reported binge drinking episodes involving adults 26 years and older.
Binge drinking in older men is an under recognized but no less important issue for discussion. Oftentimes, older adults do not recognize their drinking habits as excessive or unhealthy. Further research has shown older men in their mid 50s-mid 60s who binge drink had an increased risk of dying over a 20 year period.
Excessive alcohol use takes its toll on the body over time, particularly in older males. One of the reasons is that men of a certain age are not able to process the alcohol like they used to. As men age, their risk of heart attacks, strokes, liver failure, and other health issues rise. Since medication use commonly rises with age, drinking any amount of alcohol with prescriptions can have deadly consequences. In addition, accidents are more common with increased alcohol consumption which puts older men at risk of death. Statistics suggest alcohol poisoning is a huge factor in older men dying from drinking. Thirty four percent of men aged 45 to 54 years are found to be most at risk of alcohol poisoning. Men overall make up three quarters of alcohol poisoning related deaths.
There are ways to help if you believe you or a loved one has a problem with binge drinking. We can all make a difference in someone’s life simply by noticing there may be a problem and offering to seek help.
Contact The Last Resort if you need guidance or counseling for a loved one dealing with alcoholism or alcohol abuse. Call 877-892-7997 today.