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.
It was found that substance abuse among elderly in the United States is increasing at an unprecedented rate. Drug and alcohol abuse among elderly is, according to the Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services, classified in a couple of general groups the "late onset" addicts, which is a group that developed the addiction in their older years, and "hardy survivor" which is a term for addicts that have been abusing drug or alcohol for a longer period and have turned 65 in the meantime. 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 Dependence In The Elderly
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 situations may arouse substance ill-using trait that can lead to an all-out dependence. Whether you or a person you know is fighting with dependence problems later in life and require detecting a healing plan, contact us on 0800 246 1509.
Some of the reasons that provoke senior citizens to begin substance abuse are
- Death of a close relative, partner, pet or close friend.
- Financial Issues
- Moving to another place or to a nursing home
- Trouble sleeping
- Family conflict
- Mental or physical health decline (depression, amnesia, life-threatening operations, etc.)
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Risks From Addiction Among Older People
Substance or alcohol misuse among the older individuals particularly very risky because elderly people are highly vulnerable to the dropping consequences of these drugs.
Benzodiazepines are probably the most hazardous prescription substances for elderly, even though they are generally used to treat pain, anxiety and sleeping issues. They are extremely addictive and easily prescribed. 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. This makes it very risky for elderly individuals to utilize substances or alcohol at all, despite the person being not addicted.
Challenges In Identifying Addiction Of Senior Citizens
Alcohol or substance misuse may actually resemble signs of other medical or mental health illnesses, like diabetes, dementia or depression.
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. It's important to pay attention to any unusual signs your elderly loved one displays, although addiction can be difficult to recognize in this demographic.
Drug usage in the elderly can sow itself in signs including
- Memory problems
- Alteration in sleeping habits
- Undetermined bruises
- Irritability, sadness, depression
- Unexplained chronic pain
- Changes in eating habits
- Preference to solitude
- Undesirable hygiene
- Losing contact with loved ones
- Non-participative in events or 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.
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. 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 Misuse Statistics
Family, medical practitioners, and caregivers are encouraged to be keen to the rising cases of elderly substance abuse and report them immediately.