Drug and alcohol use by the aged
Two forms of alcoholism in elderly subjects can be distinguished: alcoholism beginning before the age of 65 years and continuing, and alcoholism beginning after the age of 65 years. Alcoholism in the elderly is often difficult to diagnose, especially since health problems due to alcohol may be attributed to old age. Elderly patients, often taking multiple medications, present an increased risk of medication / alcohol interactions, especially with tranquillisers and sedatives.
Almost 10 % of those over 65 years have an alcohol abuse problem.