Substance Abuse Among Elderly
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. Substance abuse among senior citizens can be classified into two general forms the "hardy survivor," or those who have been abusing substances for many years and have reached 65, and the "late onset" group, which is those whose addictions take place later in life, according to the Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services. Irrespective of what age you are or when your dependence commenced, there are healing alternatives present to assist you assume a healthy life.
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 Dependence In The Senior Citizens
There are various factors that could lead to a person begin embracing drug misuse later in life. These could be life-changing events or health-related issues that take an emotional toll.
Drug-abusing behaviour may be provoked by these events that can result in a full-scale addiction. 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.
Some of the reasons that provoke senior citizens to begin substance abuse are
- Death of a close family member, spouse, friend or a pet.
- Loss of income or financial stress
- Resettlement or placement in a nursing home
- Family conflict
- Physical or psychological health issues (depression, amnesia, life-threatening operations, etc.)
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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.
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.
At 65 our body has diminished its ability to break down drugs and alcohol which contributes to increased susceptibility to their effects. That means that even those senior citizens that aren't addicted are exposing themselves to increased risk if they use drugs or alcohol.
How To Recognize Addiction In The Elderly
Symptoms of other medical or mental health disorders, such as diabetes, dementia or depression, may really be posed by alcohol or drug abuse.
There are cases where doctors attribute the deteriorating mental and physical condition to old age.
Symptoms Of Dependency In Older People
There is a decline in their mental health, physical health and personal relationships as people get older. 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 signs of elderly drug abuse to look for include
- Memory loss
- Sleeping troubles
- Unexplained bruises
- Depression, irritability, sadness,
- Unidentified chronic pain
- Eating pattern changes
- Prefers to be alone often
- Undesirable personal hygiene
- Losing contact with loved ones
- Losing interest in usual 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. 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
Family, medical practitioners, and caregivers are encouraged to be keen to the rising cases of elderly substance abuse and report them immediately.