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Alcohol and Medication Misuse
by Shelly Slaczka
As a caregiver, it is very important to be aware of what medication your loved one is taking and how often. Many older adults misuse alcohol, prescription drugs, or other substances, and this number is growing larger. Misuse depends on how your loved one responds to the medications, current health, and what else is going on in their life.
Getting older causes changes in your loved one's body that can make them respond differently to alcohol and medications. The same amount of alcohol or number of drinks that had hardly any effect before can now make your loved one feel drunk.
Using any prescription or over-the-counter drug in a way that is different from how it was prescribed is drug misuse. This includes using too much or too little, or not taking it on the schedule the doctor recommended. With over-the-counter drugs, like cough syrup or aspirin, medication misuse can mean taking more than the package says or taking it too often.
Some medications don't mix well with alcohol or with other medications. Because many medications remain in your loved one's body for many hours, even if the medication was taken in the morning, having an alcohol drink with dinner could still mix with medication and cause problems.
If you think your loved one is misusing alcohol or medications,
Did you know there is a radio show that can help you?
Caring Connections with your host Nicole Bruno on
97.9 WCHL. Reaches mainly the Chapel Hill, Durham and Chatham County markets. Listen in at 10:00 am and 6:00 pm Saturdays and Sundays. Or you may find the pod casts of past shows by clicking here.
If you have a caregiving question that you would love to have answered on air or if you have a topic you think we should cover please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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