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Elderly And Their Addiction

Senior Citizens And Substance Abuse

The health effects of substance abuse for those over the age of 65 can be even more dangerous than in younger users, even it's not uncommon to develop an addiction later life.


Substance and alcohol misuse amidst the senior is a quickly developing health issue within the United States. 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.


Undercalculation and under diagnosis of addiction among people 65 and up can limit them from receiving the support they require.


Factors Of Addiction In The Elderly

There are various factors that could lead to a person begin embracing drug misuse later in life. These could be health problems or life-altering occurrences which lead to a psychological burden.

Drug-abusing behaviour may be provoked by these events that can result in a full-scale addiction. 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.


Likely precipitants for drug or alcohol addiction in the elderly are:

  • Retirement
  • Death of a close relative, partner, pet or close friend.
  • Financial strains or loss of income
  • 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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Risks From Addiction Among Older People

Since senior citizens are increasingly prone to the degrading effects of these substances, drug or alcohol abuse among the elderly is specifically harmful.

Some of the most innocuous prescription drugs for the elderly is Benzodiazepines, which are used to treat anxiety, pain or insomnia. They are extremely addictive and easily prescribed. Year after year, the rate of elderly benzos dependencies is steadily increasing.


Metabolizing substances is much more difficult for senior citizens, together with an enhanced brain sensitivity to drugs or alcohol. 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

Symptoms of other medical or mental health disorders, such as diabetes, dementia or depression, may really be posed by alcohol or drug abuse.

Thus it gets easier for doctors who experience an older patient to chalk up declining mental or physical health simply to "old age".


Symptoms Of Dependency In Older People

As individuals become aged, their mental wellbeing, physical wellbeing and private ties may begin to drop. 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.

Some signs of elderly drug abuse to look for include:

  • Memory loss
  • Sleeping troubles
  • Unexplained bruises
  • Feeling irritable, sad and depressed
  • Undetermined chronic pain
  • Changes in eating habits
  • Prefers to be alone often
  • Failing to keep personal hygiene
  • Losing contact with loved ones
  • Losing interest in usual 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. 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.


Elderly Addiction Statistics

The alerting level at which people with 65 years and older are growing dependencies to different drugs is definitely reason for worry and a thing that should not be neglected by medical personnel, caretakers or blood relations.