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Aging, Medications and Alcohol

Drug-AbuseAs we age, the need to take more and different medications tends to increase. Also, growing older means that our bodies respond differently to alcohol and to medications than when we were younger.

You should be aware that:
• Some of your medications won’t mix well with other medications, including over-the-counter medications and herbal remedies
• Many medications do not mix well with alcohol
• Changes in body weight can influence the amount of medication you need to take and how long it stays in your body

Take steps to guard against potential problems with medicines – become knowledgeable about your medicines and how they make you feel:
• Read the labels of your medications carefully and follow directions
• If you are taking medications for sleeping, pain, anxiety, or depression, it is unsafe to drink alcohol
• One alcoholic drink a day is the recommended limit for anyone over the age of 65 who has not been diagnosed with a drinking problem. That’s 12 ounces of beer, 1.5 ounces of distilled spirits, or 5 ounces of wine

Medicine and alcohol misuse can happen unintentionally. Here are some signals that may indicate an alcohol or medication-related problem:
• Memory trouble after having a drink or taking medicine
• Loss of coordination (walking unsteadily, frequent falling)
• Changes in sleep habits
• Irritability, sadness, depression
• Unexplained chronic pain
• Changes in eating habits
• Wanting to stay alone a lot of the time
• Failing to bathe or keep clean
• Having trouble finishing sentences
• Having trouble concentrating
• Difficulty staying in touch with family or friends
• Lack of interest in usual activities

If you think you have an issue with alcohol, or medications, reach out to someone you trust!

South Shore Counseling & Mediation Center is a full service mental health agency, offering CBT counseling, EFT modalities – (tapping), therapeutic counseling, a variety of behavioral and psycho-educational programs and divorce mediation. To speak with one of our therapists please call (631)286-8282, e-mail us at SSCounseling1@optonline.net or visit our website, Southshorecounselingcenter.net.

Filed in: Ask Michelle

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