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Substance Abuse Among Elderly

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. According to the Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services, drug misuse within older citizens can be grouped into two general types the "hardy survivor," or those who have been misusing drugs for several years and have attained 65, and the "late onset" squad, which is those who develop dependence at a later stage in life. 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.


Undercalculation and under diagnosis of addiction among people 65 and up can limit them from receiving the support they require.


Factors Of Abuse Among Senior Citizens

Many things could lead to someone turning to substance abuse later in life. These could turn out to be health-related concerns or life-changing situations that assume 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.


Here are some of the probable reasons why elderly are resorting to substance abuse

  • Retirement
  • Death of spouse, a family member, pet or close friend.
  • Financial strains or loss of income
  • Resettlement or placement in a nursing home
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Family conflict
  • Psychological or physical health decline (depression, memory loss, major surgeries, and many more)

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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.

Some of the most dangerous prescription drugs for seniors are Benzodiazepines which are used to treat pain, anxiety or insomnia. These are openly prescribed and very dependent. Benzodiazepine addiction of elderly is found to have grown each year.


Senior citizens have a decreased ability to metabolize drugs or alcohol along with an increased brain sensitivity to them. The mere intake of drugs of alcohol in excess is already risky enough at this age.


Identifying Substance Abuse Among Elderly Can Be Tricky

Drug or Alcohol abuse may actually imitate symptoms of other mental or medical health disorders, such as dementia, diabetes or depression.

That is why "being old" is often a primary diagnosis for most psychological or physical health issues senior citizens receive at the doctor's.


Signs Of Dependence In Elderly Individuals

Physical, psychological health, as well as private relationships, often begin to suffer when a person ages. 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.

Some symptoms of senior citizen drug abuse you should pay attention to are

  • Memory loss or gap
  • Erratic sleeping habits
  • Undetermined bruises
  • Depression, irritability, sadness,
  • Unidentified chronic pain
  • Eating pattern changes
  • Want to be left alone
  • Undesirable personal hygiene
  • Losing ties with loved ones
  • Lack of interest in regular activities

The moment dependence is discovered, it is very important to look for a healing base that has particular knowhow functioning with elderly facing dependence.

Since individuals over 65 particularly are devoid of the social support needed throughout recovery, so you should search for programs that specialize in this kind of addiction and also provide case management services. These case management services will offer the ageing with reach to medical, psychiatric and social resources to grant for a very healthy wellbeing to progress after healing.


Senior Citizen Addiction Statistics

The alerting level at which people with 65 years and older are growing dependencies to different drugs is definitely reason for worry and a thing that should not be neglected by medical personnel, caretakers or blood relations.