Effects of Alcohol Increase with Age

Earlier this spring, Napa County police rushed to the scene of a 66-year-old man who was involved in a car crash. The reason? Not a heart attack, not poor vision, but alcohol intoxication.

The adverse effects from alcohol touches all aspects of life, and its influence stretches across our lifespan. It’s not a problem you can outgrow. In fact, it’s just the opposite. The older a person gets, the more susceptible he or she is to the effects of alcohol.

Elderly people, and especially those over age 65, have increased sensitivity to alcohol. And their bodies will have an increase of blood alcohol concentration (BAC) due to

  • A slower metabolism
  • An increased ratio of body fat to water

This explains why older people tend to get intoxicated in a shorter amount of time on less alcohol than younger people. According to James W. West in his book The Betty Ford Center Book of Answers, even as little as three drinks a day can impair functioning.

For the case in Napa County, it was probably more than just a few drinks. The report said the suspect was tested and determined to have been driving under the influence of alcohol, and sent two people in the other involved vehicle to Queen of the Valley Medical Center.

It’s real, alright. The effects of alcohol are very real, and perhaps never more potent than during the riper years of life. For this reason, precaution and discernment is vital when confronted with the choice to drink.

If you have any questions or concerns, Duffy’s will be more than happy to help.