Drug And Alcohol Dependence In The Elderly who-addiction-affects

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 rapidly growing health problem 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. 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.


Cases among elderly are commonly overlooked thereby preventing them the opportunity for help or treatment.


Factors Of Addiction In The Elderly

Drug abuse occurring late in life can be attributed to few probable causes. These could be life-changing events or health-related issues that take an emotional toll.

Substance abuse can be seen as a solution to these situations, which can lead to a comprehensive addiction. Please give us a call on 0800 246 1509 today, if you or someone you know is battling with addiction problems later in life and requires assistance searching for a treatment program.


Possible inducers of substance or alcohol dependence in the older individuals are

  • Retirement
  • The passing of someone they hold dearly.
  • Loss of income or financial issues
  • Resettlement or placement in a nursing home
  • Insomnia
  • Family conflict
  • Health deterioration (depression, memory loss, major surgeries, etc.)

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The Dangers Of Senior Citizen Substance Abuse

Senior citizens are more susceptible to the deteriorating effects of drug and alcohol, therefore, these substances are particularly dangerous among the elderly.

Some of the most dangerous prescription drugs for seniors are Benzodiazepines which are used to treat pain, anxiety or insomnia. These are prescribed generously and are more addictive. 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.


Challenges In Identifying Addiction Of Senior Citizens

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

This makes it very simple for physicians who come across an elderly patient to tally reducing psychological or physical health just to "old age."


Symptoms Of Dependency In Older People

The mental health, physical health and personal relationships of people may start to deteriorate as they 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.

Below are few of the tricky signs of elderly addiction

  • Amnesia
  • Changes in sleeping practices
  • Undetermined bruises
  • Depression, irritability, sadness,
  • Unexplained chronic pain
  • Eating disorder
  • Preference to solitude
  • Undesirable personal hygiene
  • Cutting off communication with family
  • Non-participative in events or activities

It is critical to find out a treatment centre that has specific experience working with seniors facing addiction once an addiction is identified.

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. Approach to medical, psychiatric and social resources to permit for a healthy lifestyle to continue after treatment is offered to the seniors by these case management services.


Senior Citizen Misuse 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.