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Elderly And Their Addiction

Substance Addiction Among Senior Citizens

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.


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. 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.


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.


Factors Of Abuse Among Senior Citizens

Drug abuse occurring late in life can be attributed to few probable causes. 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.


Possible triggers for drug or alcohol addiction in the elderly are:

  • Retirement
  • Death of a close relative, partner, pet or close friend.
  • Financial problems or job loss
  • Relocation or transferring to a nursing home
  • Insomnia
  • Family conflict
  • Mental or physical health deterioration (depression, memory loss, major surgeries, etc.)

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The Risk Of Senior Citizen Substance Abuse

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. 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. Thus it is dangerous for seniors to use drugs or alcohol at all, even if the person isn't dependent.


Identifying Substance Abuse Among Elderly Can Be Tricky

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."


Drug Abuse And Its Symptoms Among Elderly

There is a decline in their mental health, physical health and personal relationships as people get older. It is very significant to look for some extraordinary signs a senior citizen you care about shows, especially because it can be hard to spot an addiction in the older population.

Some symptoms of senior citizen drug abuse you should pay attention to are:

  • Amnesia
  • Alteration in sleeping habits
  • Bruising without known reason
  • Feeling irritable, sad and depressed
  • Persistent aches or pains
  • Changes in eating traits
  • Want to be left alone
  • Lack of personal hygiene
  • Losing ties with loved ones
  • Lack of interest in normal activities

It is imperative to ask professional assistance from experts once substance abuse is confirmed or recognized among elderly.

It is also important to admit them to facilities that specialise in elderly addiction due to the commonly lacking family or social support at this age. The continued healthy lifestyle is allowed after the treatment with these case management services that provide the elderly with access to medical, psychiatric, and social resources.


Senior Citizen Abuse Statistics

Family, friends, care providers and doctors need to stop ignoring the disturbing rate of addictions to numerous substances among people age 65 and older since it really is a thing to worry about.