Alcohol is the most common drug used by older people. Older people in Australia are less likely to binge drink, but are the most likely age groups to be daily drinkers.
As people age they become more susceptible to the effects of alcohol. They will become more intoxicated and impaired at lower doses and be at greater risk of harmful physical effects and accidents, particularly falls. Harmful interactions between alcohol and multiple medications are of particular concern in older people.
What are the dangers of mixing alcohol and medications?
Using alcohol at the same time as any other drug can be dangerous. This includes drinking alcohol while taking prescribed medications and over-the-counter medications, and with some herbal preparations. One drug can make the negative effects of the other even worse. Alcohol can also stop medicines from working properly.
There is no safe level of drug use. Use of any drug may carry risks or cause unwanted side effects.
Alcohol, drugs and driving
It is against the law to drive under the influence of alcohol or any illicit drug. The amount of alcohol that can be consumed before a person reaches the legal limit varies considerably from one person to another, and for the same person in different circumstances. There is also a range of offences relating to refusal or failure to submit to a roadside breath testing, providing blood samples and for interfering with samples, set out in Schedule 3 to the Road Transport Act.
Find help or support
Find information about support or treatment options for alcohol and other drugs.