Treatment of elderly alcohol dependent patients
Heavy use of alcoholic beverages and alcohol use disorders (AUD) is associated with a range of somatic, social and mental problems. So far, the focus of public concern has primarily been on problematic alcohol use among adolescents, young and middle-aged adults. Problematic alcohol use of older people (+60 years) has not been a major topic. However, although older people drink less than younger people on average, they have considerable rates of problematic use; in Germany and the United States, consumption levels above recommended maximum daily amounts are 25.2% and 14.5%, respectively. In Denmark 20.9% of this age group exceed the weekly low risk consumption.
Rising life expectancy will lead to both higher relative shares and higher absolute numbers of older people. Since heavy alcohol use is so common among elderly and associated with increased risk of a series of severe health conditions and social disadvantages, there is thus much reason for heightening the awareness to offer treatment for AUD to elderly patients. However, data on treatment effectiveness for AUD in the older population is largely missing.
This session will present the first findings from the Elderly-Study. The Elderly-study addressed two questions of effectiveness. 1) What are the outcomes of brief treatment in adults60+ years with AUD? 2) Does extended treatment further improve treatment success?