PSYCH 127A Chapter Notes - Chapter 11.8: Twin Study, Nicotine, Aldehyde Dehydrogenase

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Older people are more likely to abstain from drinking. Prevalence rates for alcohol use disorder are substantially higher among young adults and lowest among the elderly. Most elderly alcohol abusers are people who have had drinkign problems for many years. The elderly use more legal drugs than do any other age group. Risk for substance used disorder increases due to frequent use of multiple psychoactive drugs combined with enhanced sensitivity to drug toxicity caused by slowed metabolic breakdown. Diagnostic criteria for substance use disorders may be difficult to apply to the elderly because drug use has different consequences in their lives. Reduced tolerance and more severe and prolonged withdrawal. Probably of social impairment reduced because they live apart from families. Because so many adults were already addicted to nicotine, banning it would lead to immediate establishment of extensive black markets similar to other drugs. Instead, fda chose to regulate tobacco and use prevention efforts to break the cycle of addiction.

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