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Am J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2004 Nov-Dec;12(6):571-83.

Late-life alcoholism: issues relevant to the geriatric psychiatrist.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Section on Geriatric Psychiatry, Center for the Study of Addictions, University of Pennsylvania, 3535 Market Street, Room 3002, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.


Alcohol use and abuse are often overlooked as an important clinical issue in older adults. However, with a rapidly growing population of older adults who grew up during an era of increased illicit drug and alcohol use, there are reasons to believe that there will be a greater impact of alcohol abuse or dependence on the next generation of older adults. Because older adults seek the majority of behavioral health care either in primary care settings or from mental health providers, it is necessary for primary care providers and geriatric mental health providers to become proficient at assessing and providing interventions. This article discusses the state of research in this area and reviews clinically-relevant concepts related to identifying, assessing, and treating older adults with alcohol-related disability.

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