The health effects of substance abuse for those over the age of 65 can be even more dangerous than in younger users, even it's not uncommon to develop an addiction later life.
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.
People older than 65 are often having inadequate help with their addiction because that issue in elderly is often not thought as a serious and is often no diagnosed.
Causes Of Dependence In The Elderly
There are many causes for developing a substance addiction even as a senior citizen. These could be life-changing events or health-related issues that take 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 772 3971 if you or someone you know is struggling with addiction issues later in life and need help finding a treatment program.
Here are some of the probable reasons why elderly are resorting to substance abuse:
The passing of someone they hold dearly.
Loss of income or financial issues
Relocation to a nursing home
Mental or physical health deterioration (depression, memory loss, major surgeries, etc.)
Substance or alcohol misuse among the older individuals particularly very risky because elderly people are highly vulnerable to the dropping consequences of these drugs.
Some of the most innocuous prescription drugs for the elderly is Benzodiazepines, which are used to treat anxiety, pain or insomnia. Despite its addicting potency, it is commonly prescribed by doctors to older people. There has been rise in the rate of elderly addicted to benzos.
Senior citizens have a decreased ability to metabolize drugs or alcohol along with an increased brain sensitivity to them. That means that even those senior citizens that aren't addicted are exposing themselves to increased risk if they use drugs or alcohol.
Difficulties In Distinguishing Dependence In Senior Citizens
Some of the psychological or physical health issues, like dementia, depression or diabetes might actually have similar side effects to substance abuse.
There are cases where doctors attribute the deteriorating mental and physical condition to old age.
Signs Of Dependence In Elderly Individuals
There is a decline in their mental health, physical health and personal relationships as people get older. 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.
A few symptoms of senior citizens substance misuse to search for are:
Erratic sleeping habits
Irritability, sadness, depression
Unidentified chronic pain
Changes in eating habits
Wanting to be on your own most of the time
Lack of 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. 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.
Senior Citizen Addiction Statistics
Family, friends, care providers and doctors need to stop ignoring the disturbing rate of addictions to numerous substances among people age 65 and older since it really is a thing to worry about.