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.
It was found that substance abuse among elderly in the United States is increasing at an unprecedented rate. 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.
Addiction among people 65 and up is often under-diagnosed and underestimated, which can stop them from getting the help they need.
Causes Of Addiction In Senior Citizens
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 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.
Some of the reasons that provoke senior citizens to begin substance abuse are:
Death of spouse, a family member, pet or close friend.
Loss of income or financial issues
Resettlement or placement in 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.
Benzodiazepines are probably the most hazardous prescription substances for elderly, even though they are generally used to treat pain, anxiety and sleeping issues. Despite its addicting potency, it is commonly prescribed by doctors to older people. Benzodiazepine addiction of elderly is found to have grown 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.
Difficulties In Distinguishing Dependence In Senior Citizens
Symptoms of other medical or mental health disorders, such as diabetes, dementia or depression, may really be posed by alcohol or drug 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.
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.
Some signs of elderly drug abuse to look for include:
Depression, anxiety, sadness
Unexplained chronic pain
Changes in eating traits
Prefers to be alone often
Getting out of contact with family and friends
Losing interest in regular 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.
People over 65 usually don't have enough support that is needed after treatment, so you need to find a specific program that provides case management services in addition to having experience in dealing with elderly addiction. 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 Abuse 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.