Retirees and Alcohol Addiction

Retirees and Alcohol AddictionAlcohol abuse and addiction is a rising problem among retirees and seniors, especially since the massive baby-boomer generation has recently reached 60 and above. Over 76 million babies were born during an eighteen year period following World War Two, which means many people may develop problems with alcohol while retiring and becoming elderly. Baby boomers grew up in a generation that promoted recreational drug and alcohol use, so they may be subject to alcohol abuse through their upbringing and because social drinking has become more acceptable. However, professional treatment can help retired alcoholics get sober and stay that way for the long haul.

How Retirement Affects Alcoholism

Retirement is a major life event, and it can cause or worsen alcohol abuse. In fact, retirement can even affect alcohol abuse in people who engage in healthy drinking behaviors, or those who have never drank before. In fact, retirement can spark alcohol abuse for any of the following reasons:

  • A feeling of loss or loss of purpose. A job can dominate someone’s life, so ending a job can take away what people used to define themselves. Losing that focus can be frightening and confusing, which people may medicate with alcohol abuse.
  • Retirement allows for considerable free time, so people who lack hobbies and relationships may fill that free time with alcohol abuse or other destructive behaviors
  • Retirement is the golden finish line for workers, but that goal may not meet one’s expectations. Disappointed people may respond by abusing alcohol or drugs to make their achievement more fun, or to drown feelings of disappointment, regret and sadness.
  • Retirement can cut someone’s income, and financial concerns and stressful budgeting can take a toll on someone’s health. People may start drinking to cope with these issues, especially if someone already worries about her health, a loved one or her future. People who avoid these issues may turn to alcohol to escape psychological distress.
  • People who have engaged in unhealthy drinking behaviors or have hidden their alcoholism behind their work can be exposed during retirement

If this describes you or a retired loved one, then seek professional help as soon as possible.

How Retirement Affects Alcoholism

Several factors of age increase alcohol abuse, including the following examples:

  • Getting older usually comes with declining health. Both physical and mental health problems can influence alcohol abuse and alcoholism as people try to self-medicate pain or escape mental and emotional problems.
  • Older individuals experience decreased tolerance levels, so they are more affected by alcohol and other drugs now than they were before. Because of this, both alcohol dependence and addiction can develop much more quickly for older people.
  • Retirees and older individuals are more likely to live by themselves and frequent fewer people who will notice the signs of alcoholism
  • Retired people have fewer risks tied to their drinking behavior, especially because they cannot lose their jobs, incomes and benefits attached to the company. In other words, they have fewer reasons to get sober than other people do.

To help a retired person overcome alcohol abuse, seek professional help today.

Alcoholism Help for Retirees

If you or someone you love needs help for alcohol abuse, then call our toll-free helpline. Our admissions coordinators are available 24 hours a day to answer your questions and to connect you with the treatment and recovery services you need.