Older and sober
From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.
For people who are at least middle aged and who have past alcohol dependence, also known as alcoholism, it looks like the safest amount of alcohol is none. Researchers at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism found that when they looked at people in recovery.
The NIAAA’s Dr. Mark Willenbring:
"For people 45 years of age and older, abstinence is by far the best approach. Even minimal drinking significantly increased the rate of relapse over a three-year period." (12 seconds)
For these folks, even a little alcohol raised the risk that they would return to alcoholism and the problems that come with it, such as driving while drinking.
Willenbring says the study supports the idea that abstinence is the best goal for such people.
The study was in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.
Learn more at hhs.gov.
HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.
Last revised: May 7, 2011