Alcohol Use and Older Adults

Frequently Asked Questions

2. Why are older people more sensitive to alcohol's effects than younger people?

One reason that older adults are more sensitive to alcohol's effects is that they metabolize, or break down, alcohol more slowly than younger people. So, alcohol stays in their bodies longer. Also, the amount of water in the body drops with age. As a result, older adults will have a higher percentage of alcohol in their blood than younger people after drinking the same amount of alcohol.

(Watch the video to learn more about drinking problems in older adults. To enlarge the video, click the brackets in the lower right-hand corner. To reduce the video, press the Escape (Esc) button on your keyboard.)