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.
In the UK, substance addiction among senior citizens is a constantly increasing health issue. 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. 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.
Cases among elderly are commonly overlooked thereby preventing them the opportunity for help or treatment.
Factors Of Abuse Among Senior Citizens
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.
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 246 1509.
Possible triggers for drug or alcohol addiction in the elderly are
- Death of spouse, a family member, pet or close friend.
- Financial Issues
- Moving to another place or to a nursing home
- Difficulty sleeping
- Family conflict
- Psychological or physical health decline (depression, memory loss, major surgeries, and many more)
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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.
Some of the most dangerous prescription drugs for seniors are Benzodiazepines which are used to treat pain, anxiety or insomnia. These are openly prescribed and very dependent. 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. The mere intake of drugs of alcohol in excess is already risky enough at this age.
How To Recognize Addiction In The Elderly
Drug or Alcohol abuse may actually imitate symptoms of other mental or medical health disorders, such as dementia, diabetes or depression.
It makes it simpler for doctors who come across an older patient to attribute deteriorating mental or physical health simply to "old age".
Drug Abuse And Its Symptoms Among Elderly
This may not always be true but together with mental and physical health, relationships of older persons also decline. It's important to pay attention to any unusual signs your elderly loved one displays, although addiction can be difficult to recognize in this demographic.
A few symptoms of senior citizens substance misuse to search for are
- Memory problems
- Changes in sleeping habits
- Unexplained bruises
- Feeling irritable, sad and depressed
- Unidentified chronic pain
- Changes in eating habits
- Prefers to be alone often
- Failing to keep personal hygiene
- Getting out of contact with family and friends
- Lack of interest in normal activities
It is important to look for a rehab facility when you recognize an addiction, especially one with a particular expertise with addiction 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. 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 Misuse Statistics
Family, medical practitioners, and caregivers are encouraged to be keen to the rising cases of elderly substance abuse and report them immediately.