Senior Citizens And Substance Abuse
It's not new to grow dependence at a late stage in life, but the health consequences of drug ill-use for individuals above the age of 65 can be even more severe than in younger abusers.
Substance and alcohol misuse amidst the senior is a quickly developing health issue within the United States. 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). There are treatment choices available to help you get back on a healthy track, it doesn't matter what your age is or when addiction began.
Cases among elderly are commonly overlooked thereby preventing them the opportunity for help or treatment.
Causes Of Addiction In Senior Citizens
There are various factors that could lead to a person begin embracing drug misuse later in life. These could turn out to be health-related concerns or life-changing situations that assume an emotional toll.
These are few of the things that are causing older folks to turn to substance abuse. Please call us now on 0800 246 1509 if you or someone you know is struggling with addiction issues later in life and need help finding a treatment program.
Likely precipitants for drug or alcohol addiction in the elderly are
- The passing of someone they hold dearly.
- Financial strains or loss of income
- Relocation to a nursing home
- Difficulty sleeping
- Family conflict
- Health deterioration (depression, memory loss, major surgeries, etc.)
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The Risk Of Senior Citizen 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, which are applied to heal anxiety, pain or sleep disorder, are a few of the most risky prescription drugs for the elderly. These are openly prescribed and very dependent. The number of elderly people addicted to benzos have gone up each year.
Metabolizing substances is much more difficult for senior citizens, together with an enhanced brain sensitivity to drugs or alcohol. That means that even those senior citizens that aren't addicted are exposing themselves to increased risk if they use drugs or alcohol.
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.
There are cases where doctors attribute the deteriorating mental and physical condition to old age.
Signs Of Addiction In Senior Citizens
This may not always be true but together with mental and physical health, relationships of older persons also decline. The task of recognizing the real symptoms of abuse among elderly can be tricky but it pays to be a little more keen to their behaviour or demeanour.
Below are few of the tricky signs of elderly addiction
- Memory loss or gap
- Changes in sleeping habits
- Unexplained bruises
- Depression, anxiety, sadness
- Unexplained chronic pain
- Eating pattern changes
- Desire to be left alone
- Undesirable personal hygiene
- Losing communication with loved ones
- Lack of interest in regular activities
It is important to look for a rehab facility when you recognize an addiction, especially one with a particular expertise with addiction among elderly.
You should identify plans that particularize in this form of dependence and as well provide case management services, as people above 65 usually lack the social help highly needed during recuperating. The continued healthy lifestyle is allowed after the treatment with these case management services that provide the elderly with access to medical, psychiatric, and social resources.
Senior Citizen Misuse Statistics
The reason for concern and something that should not be ignored by medical professionals, caretakers or family members, is the alarming rate at which individuals 65 years and older are developing addictions to various substances.