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. 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 options available to help you get back on a healthy path, regardless of how old you are or when your addiction started.
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
Many things could lead to someone turning to substance abuse later in life. Some of them may have dealt with desperate situations or are suffering hopelessness due to sickness.
These are few of the things that are causing older folks to turn to substance abuse. 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 772 3971.
Possible triggers for drug or alcohol addiction in the elderly are
- Death of someone close, or a pet.
- Financial Issues
- Relocation or transferring to a nursing home
- Family fights
- Health deterioration (depression, memory loss, major surgeries, etc.)
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The Dangers Of Senior Citizen Substance Abuse
The human body becomes more vulnerable to the ill effects of drugs as it grows older.
It is found out that drugs like Benzodiazepines pose dangerous risks to elderly. These are generously prescribed and highly addictive. 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. This makes it very risky for elderly individuals to utilize substances or alcohol at all, despite the person being not addicted.
Identifying Substance Abuse Among Elderly Can Be Tricky
The effects or symptoms manifested by elderly abusers could be mistaken with symptoms of dementia, diabetes and other health issues suffered by older people.
That is why "being old" is often a primary diagnosis for most psychological or physical health issues senior citizens receive at the doctor's.
Drug Abuse And Its Symptoms Among Elderly
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.
Below are few of the tricky signs of elderly addiction
- Memory loss or gap
- Changes in sleeping habits
- Unexplained bruises
- Depression, irritability, sadness,
- Persistent aches or pains
- Eating disorder
- Prefers to be alone often
- Undesirable personal hygiene
- Cutting off communication with family
- Lack of interest in normal 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.
Individuals over 65 typically lack the social support required throughout recovery therefore, you should look for programs that offer case management services and also specialize in this type of 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.
Elderly Addiction Statistics
Family, medical practitioners, and caregivers are encouraged to be keen to the rising cases of elderly substance abuse and report them immediately.