Substance Addiction Among Senior Citizens
Although it's not unpopular for an addiction later in life, the health effects of substance abuse for those over the age of 65 can be even more dangerous than in younger users.
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). 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.
Dependence within individuals of 65 and over is normally underestimated and under-diagnosed, which can actually avoid them from receiving the assistance they urgently require.
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 be health problems or life-altering occurrences which lead to a psychological burden.
Drug-abusing behaviour that can cause a full-scale addiction may be triggered by these events. Please contact us today on 0800 246 1509 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 triggers for drug or alcohol addiction in the elderly are
- Death of spouse, a family member, pet or close friend.
- Financial strains or loss of income
- Relocation or placement in a nursing facility
- Difficulty sleeping
- Fights in the family
- Health deterioration (depression, memory loss, major surgeries, etc.)
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Risks From Addiction Among Older People
Since senior citizens are increasingly prone to the degrading effects of these substances, drug or alcohol abuse among the elderly is specifically harmful.
It is found out that drugs like Benzodiazepines pose dangerous risks to elderly. These are generously prescribed and highly addictive. 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. Thus it is dangerous for seniors to use drugs or alcohol at all, even if the person isn't dependent.
Challenges In Identifying Addiction Of Senior Citizens
Some of the psychological or physical health issues, like dementia, depression or diabetes might actually have similar side effects to substance abuse.
That is why "being old" is often a primary diagnosis for most psychological or physical health issues senior citizens receive at the doctor's.
Symptoms Of Dependency In Senior Citizens
As individuals become aged, their mental wellbeing, physical wellbeing and private ties may begin to drop. It is very significant to look for some extraordinary signs a senior citizen you care about shows, especially because it can be hard to spot an addiction in the older population.
Below are few of the tricky signs of elderly addiction
- Memory problems
- Alteration in sleeping habits
- Unexplained bruises
- Feeling irritable, sad and depressed
- Unidentified chronic pain
- Eating disorder
- Want to be left alone
- Undesirable hygiene
- Losing communication with loved ones
- Lack of interest in normal activities
It is critical to find out a treatment centre that has specific experience working with seniors facing addiction once an addiction is identified.
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. Access to medical, social and psychiatric resources that can help seniors keep up their healthy habits once they leave treatment will be secured by using these case management services.
Senior Citizen 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.