Senior Citizens And Substance Addiction
If a person is older than 65 and has a substance addiction, which is not unheard of, the health consequences can be a lot more hazardous than with younger addicts.
A fast progressing health issue in the United States is drug and alcohol abuse among the elderly. The Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services classifies elderly addicts into hardy survivors (continuous substance abuse starting from younger years) and late onset (those who developed the habit during senior years). If you want to beat your addiction, regardless of your age or when you began using a substance, there are numerous treatment alternatives you can choose from.
Undercalculation and under diagnosis of addiction among people 65 and up can limit them from receiving the support they require.
Causes Of Addiction In Senior Citizens
Many things could lead to someone turning to substance abuse later in life. These could be life-changing events or health-related issues that take an emotional toll.
Drug-abusing behaviour that can cause a full-scale addiction may be triggered by these events. Please contact us today on 0800 772 3971 if you or a person you care about is having addiction troubles in their older age and require help with looking for a rehab program.
Possible inducers of substance or alcohol dependence in the older individuals are
- Death of a close relative, partner, pet or close friend.
- Financial Issues
- Relocation to a nursing home
- Difficulty sleeping
- Family fights
- Mental or physical health decline (depression, amnesia, life-threatening operations, etc.)
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The Risk Of Elderly Substance Abuse
Since senior citizens are increasingly prone to the degrading effects of these substances, drug or alcohol abuse among the elderly is specifically harmful.
Benzodiazepines are probably the most hazardous prescription substances for elderly, even though they are generally used to treat pain, anxiety and sleeping issues. Despite its addicting potency, it is commonly prescribed by doctors to older people. Every year the rate of senior citizens addicted to benzos increases.
Senior citizens have a decreased ability to metabolize drugs or alcohol along with an increased brain sensitivity to them. Even when the person is not addicted, it becomes harmful for seniors to use drugs or alcohol totally.
How To Recognize Addiction In The Elderly
Symptoms of other medical or mental health disorders, such as diabetes, dementia or depression, may really be posed by alcohol or drug abuse.
It makes it simpler for doctors who come across an older patient to attribute deteriorating mental or physical health simply to "old age".
Symptoms Of Dependency In Senior Citizens
This may not always be true but together with mental and physical health, relationships of older persons also decline. Even though addiction can be hard to identify in this demographic, it's essential to give attention to any unusual signs your elderly loved one exhibits.
Drug usage in the elderly can sow itself in signs including
- Memory loss or gap
- Erratic sleeping habits
- Unexplained bruises
- Depression, irritability, sadness,
- Persistent aches or pains
- Eating disorder
- Want to be left alone
- Failing to bathe or stay clean
- Losing communication with loved ones
- Lack of interest in normal activities
It is crucial to search out a treatment centre that has particular experience working with seniors struggling with addiction, once an addiction is recognized.
Individuals over 65 typically lack the social support required throughout recovery therefore, you should look for programs that offer case management services and also specialize in this type of addiction. Getting them access to case management services will also enable them to enjoy other resources necessary to their recovery be it medical, psychiatric or relational support.
Elderly Addiction Statistics
The high rate at which individuals 65 years and older are forming addictions to several substances is surely cause for concern and something that should not be neglected by healthcare professionals, caretakers or family members.