Research Shows a Correlation Between Social Behavior and Excessive Drinking in Older Adults

A recent study finds that there may be a link between excessive drinking patterns of older adults. A current news article talks about the role social and economic factors play in drinking habits.

It’s been a common thought that alcohol and drug use is somewhat of a vulnerability to certain social factors and that, in turn, certain social effects are dependent upon the use of drugs or alcohol.

The study discussed in recent news articles shows that older adults with more social avenues tend to drink more. With more money and social activities, older drinkers tend to choose social situations that benefit their pattern of alcohol consumption.

This study is very unique in that it focuses specifically on the longevity of high-risk drinking among a certain age group. Research began by taking 719 adults, 55 to 65 years old and collecting information from them. This included drinking habits as well as social and financial resources.

The 399 men and 320 women were first asked this series of questions between 1986 and 1988. Researchers again contact these same individuals 10 and even 20 years later with the same list of questions.

The results clearly show the social and financial factors involved with how much alcohol is consumed by older adults. There were two findings. Some social factors were shown to enhance chances of high-risk drinking and then the development of high-risk drinking scenarios.

In order to facilitate the increased drinking behavior, individuals that were more financially secure were able to involve themselves in more social opportunities. This coupled with associated with friends who approved of drinking increased the percentage of drinks per day and per week.

The findings provide a clearer picture of drinking habits in that at-risk drinking does not merely go away the older we get. In fact, the problem can persist and even grow into alcoholism.