Ageism, stigma hinders response to senior alcohol use dysfunction
Extreme alcohol use poses distinctive dangers to older adults. As adults age, their tolerance for alcohol decreases, placing them at increased danger for falls, automotive crashes and different accidents. And alcohol can exacerbate illnesses like diabetes, hypertension and reminiscence issues and intrude with drugs older adults are more likely to take for these points.
Whereas medication-assisted therapy is an choice for individuals recognized with alcohol use dysfunction, “I believe when you had been to ask a doctor to call the three drugs authorized by the FDA to deal with alcohol use dysfunction, they couldn’t,” stated George Koob, director of the Nationwide Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, which is a part of the Nationwide Institutes of Well being.
In 2021, about 1 % of people that had alcohol use dysfunction stated they obtained remedy for it, in accordance with the Nationwide Survey on Drug Use and Well being. Compared, 22 % of individuals with opioid use dysfunction stated they obtained remedy therapy.
However there’s proof remedy helps. In response to a examine revealed in 2021 the Worldwide Journal of Environmental Analysis and Public Well being adults aged 65 and older admitted for alcohol use dysfunction had been much less doubtless than middle-aged and 50-64 yr olds to be prescribed naltrexone, one of many medicine authorized to deal with AUD.
“I believe we have to do a greater job of figuring out older sufferers and providing them therapy,” stated Benjamin Han, a geriatrician, dependancy drugs doctor and researcher at College of California San Diego, who stated he provides naltrexone to any affected person who meets the factors for alcohol use dysfunction.