Screening for At-Risk Alcohol Use in Older Adults: What Progress Have We Made?

Christine L. Savage, Deborah Finnell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


About one in every seven Americans is an older adult (13.7%). Almost half (41.7%) of this population reported current alcohol use in 2013 with a little more than 1 in 10 (11.2%) reporting at-risk use of alcohol, placing them at risk for adverse consequences associated with alcohol use such as injury, use of alcohol-interactive medications, and use of alcohol contraindicated in other comorbid medical and psychiatric diagnoses, underlying the importance of having reliable and valid methods to screening for at-risk alcohol use in older adults. The question is, "are we making progress in this area?". The purpose of this review is to present two publications, a decade apart, focused on systematically screening older adults to prevent or reduce the harms associated with alcohol use. In addition, this review includes an examination of the shift from focusing on identifying older adults with a possible alcohol use disorder to identifying alcohol-related health risks across the continuum of use in older adults.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)152-156
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of addictions nursing
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 20 2015


  • alcohol
  • alcohol interactive medications
  • comorbidity
  • older adult
  • screening

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Phychiatric Mental Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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