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When One Drink Is More Like Two

Judie Rappaport
February 26, 2015

Dear Judie,


Mom (85) and Dad (88) are not big drinkers.  They’ve always had a cocktail before dinner, but  I don’t recall ever seeing them drunk.  Now, they seem a little “high” whenever we have dinner together.  When I mentioned it, mom said,  “I’ve noticed that, but we still have the same drink before dinner, so I thought we must be just a little more tired than usual.”   Does this sound right?

- Chris, Vero


Dear Chris,


No.  Sensitivity to alcohol increases with age because older systems do not metabolize or excrete alcohol as efficiently as younger ones.  The result is the same alcohol intake, i.e., your parents’ “one regular cocktail,” can produce higher, longer lasting blood alcohol levels.  Add prescription or over-the-counter medications to the mix and you’ve got an even more potent cocktail that can negatively impact high blood pressure, exaggerate or reduce the effects of many medications, and increase blood alcohol levels even further.  This increases your parents’ risk for falls, trips and even cuts with knives while preparing dinner.  Speak to mom, dad, and their physician now to prevent future problems.


Judie Rappaport, President & Founder
Preferred Lifestyle Services

Trust Yourself. You Have the Knowledge, Insight,
and Power to make the right decisions for you and your parent. ©


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