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Alcohol and Aging

Use the links below to view ABC's resources on alcohol and aging.

Alcohol Education and Prevention for Older Adults

Virginia ABC recognizes the need for alcohol education and prevention among older adults, and is committed to continuing its partnership with the Alcohol and Aging Awareness Group (AAAG) and expanding its Alcohol and Aging initiative in support of mental health for older Americans.

Older woman slumped over in chair while holding wine glass.Studies have shown the number of older adults in Virginia is growing rapidly, and the need for mental health and substance abuse services for this population is expected to double over the next 25 years.

Some of the signs and symptoms of alcohol misuse in older adults include frequent and unexplained injuries, neglect of personal hygiene, mood swings, depression or anxiety, change in sleep patterns and eating habits, slurred speech, unsteady gait, the smell of alcohol on breath, confusion or forgetfulness, isolation from family and friends, and more. Many of these symptoms mirror the signs of aging and depression, requiring a more thorough look at the cause.

If you are the friend, spouse or caregiver of an older adult who needs help with alcohol or substance misuse, be supportive, direct and honest with the individual, and consider guiding them to their primary care physician or a geriatrician who specializes in addictions. You may also seek assistance at one or more of the following:

  • Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)
  • Alcoholism counselors, social workers, psychologists and clergy
  • Alcoholism treatment centers
  • An area agency on aging.
  • Senior Navigator at

For more information, visit related links near the top of this web page.

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