When I research my different articles, I find I am seeing more and more articles regarding baby boomers and alcohol. And that alcoholism for our generation is alarmingly on the rise.
Men and Women
The percentages between the sexes are different. Whether it be wine, beer, or stronger beverages, many can tend to drink in access.
Drinking while taking medications are a dangerous mix. Some medications mixed with alcohol can be deadly. Also, drinking can cause certain medications to be less effective. In a 2018 article, I read, over 85,000 die a year from excessive drinking. And the cost is outrageous. It is always wise to check what medications you are on and see if there are any warnings or dangerous side effects.
Alcohol affects both men and women differently. As we age, we tend to lose muscle, which then changes how we metabolize alcohol. In the past, alcohol abuse was higher in men than in women. But some studies show that drinking is on the rise with boomer women. They’re catching up with men. It’s also been stated that it is harder for women to quit drinking, then men. I, personally, think that would depend on the person.
Both sexes, who binge drink, think that they are receiving health benefits, like with wine. Although one can receive health benefits from drinking, like with wine, binge drinking wine may cancel out those benefits.
Those that drink may tend to have more falls. As I’m sure you know, falling becomes an issue for many boomers, add alcohol to the mix, and your risk of falling increases. Broken bones, leading visits to the hospital, often with broken hips or arms. No to mention that many boomers live alone, making help harder to come by.
Excessive drinking, over a long period, can lead to health issues/behaviors for us boomers, such as:
- Accidents at home
- Brain damage
- Car accidents/DUI/death
- Certain kinds of cancer
- Domestic violence
- Heart attack
- Immune system disorders
- Interferes with your job/home life/relationships/etc.
- Liver damage
- Memory loss
- More hospital visits
- Risk of becoming an alcoholic
These are common issues.
Also, keep in mind that excessive drinking may make it harder for your doctor to detect any severe issues you may be having. For example, alcohol can mask some pain, making it harder for your doctor to address any health concerns that need attention. Excessive drinking may make existing conditions worse, such as:
- High blood pressure
- Memory loss
I would go out on a limb here and say that one of the biggest triggers is that many boomers have a lot of time on their hands. Especially if those that are retired. Others may be:
- Being ill/health issues
- Empty nest syndrome
- Loss of a loved one (usually a spouse or child)
- Marital problems
- Mental illness/depression
- More money in which you can afford to drink excessively
- Social drinking in excess
- Social isolation/living alone
Each person has different triggers.
I understand that us boomers often don’t care for certain words, and they can sometimes make us uncomfortable. Even defensive. Please don’t let that keep you from getting treatment. Use whatever words you want, for example, instead of a problem use issue. The stigma behind certain words isn’t what’s important here. You are! The sooner you realize you may have an issue, and that you could may need help/treatment, the better. Do not delay. And you don’t have to let others know. Although having support from family and friends may help.
It is your treatment, so find one that will work for you. It’s not a one size fits all. If you really want to do this, do not let anything get in your way: Family, friends, your boss, co-workers, or counselors. Fight for your sobriety, if need be.
My father was an alcoholic his whole life, and in the end, it killed him. He got dementia, caused by alcohol, and then cancer. And it was horrible to watch when he’d become frustrated because he couldn’t do or remember things like he used to. His cancer, that spread all over He was in severe pain. Sadly he passed away this past July, while in hospice.
You don’t want to put your family through this. Take control and get help today! Getting help does not make you weak; in fact, it makes you stronger. You realized you have an issue, and that you need to quit. That you may need help.
There is Help
Most advertisements for alcohol treatment are targeted to the young. And that tends to keep the boomer for seeking treatment. As we all know, excessive drinking includes every walk of life, at any age, and is a devastating disease. There is no specific mold when it comes to alcoholism. So, please, reach out and ask for help. You’d be surprised just how many other boomers have the same problem as yourself.
If you know, or possibly suspect that you, even a loved one, have a problem with drinking, please seek help. Many pages explain how to talk to a loved one about their drinking. Definitely Google it.
Quit kidding yourself. Stop hiding your habit! We’re supposed to be enjoying the second half of life, being happy, healthy, and active. This is our time!
Help is available to you, please reach out and take advantage of it. Below are a few links to get you started. You can also do searches for treatment centers in your area.
Recover from alcoholism is a phone call away. They have operators standing by, to help you 24/7/365. Addiction does not keep business hours, nor should help/treatment. Explore the site and see what is right for you.
AA I believe is the most heard about when it comes to treatment/help with alcoholism. I know that they do have groups online as well. Many helpful links.
Here is a navigator to resources for support as well as ass treatment. A lot of great articles too.
I am not a professional or a counselor. I grew up with an alcoholic father, and I saw firsthand the devastation of drinking causes. The above info is from many articles I read on and offline.
I only want to be of help, is all. God bless!