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Aging with drugs and alcohol - Essay Example

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The effects of alcohol and drugs are more pronounced in aged people. Elderly are at increased risk of such effects because of the physiologic changes which occurs…
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Aging with drugs and alcohol
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Download file to see previous pages For example, forgetfulness and confusion, which are the effects of alcohol, can mimic Alzheimer’s disease.
“Due to multiple and chronic diseases, elderly often take numerous drugs. Elderly or those persons who are above sixty-five years of age may take seven or more prescription drugs along with some over the counter drugs” (Stewart & Cooper, 449-461). The sensitivity to alcohol’s effects increases with age and small amount of alcohol can affect judgment, co-ordination, alertness, and reaction time in elderly. Therefore, it makes them prone to accidents, falls, and fractures. The medical complications of alcohol abuse includes alcoholic liver disease, gastrointestinal tract diseases including bleeding, inflammation of pancreas, metabolic disturbances and increase risk of infections. The tolerance level of elderly to infections and bleeding is quite lower then that of younger people.
In addition, the elderly are at increased risk of suffering from malnutrition, deficiency of vitamins, anemia, diseases of heart and blood vessels; bone mass reduction and even cancer. The loss of nerve cells occurs normally with aging but alcohol induced degeneration and shrinkage of brain along with damage to nerves throughout the body adds up to it and lead to further consequences. Alcohol use in large amount can lead to inflammation of stomach, intestine, and pancreas, which can hinder the digestion of food and the absorption of nutrients (Stewart & Cooper, 449-461). Alcohol abuse can also have psychosocial implications as the heavy drinker have increased chances of clashes at home, with friends and colleagues.
Alcohol when combined either with other drugs, prescription or over the counter can be harmful and even fatal. “This is especially important for the aged people as they are often the users of prescription drugs and over the counter drugs” (Adams, pp. 13-14). The alcohol drug combination can have problematic consequences especially in ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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