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Drug And Alcohol Addiction In The Elderly

Substance Addiction Among Senior Citizens

If a person is older than 65 and has a substance addiction, which is not unheard of, the health consequences can be a lot more hazardous than with younger addicts.


It was found that substance abuse among elderly in the United States is increasing at an unprecedented rate. Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services says that substance use among senior citizens can be classified into two typical forms: the "late onset" group, which is those who form addictions later in life and the "hardy survivor", or those who have been abusing substances for many years and have reached 65. Irrespective of what age you are or when your dependence commenced, there are healing alternatives present to assist you assume a healthy life.


People older than 65 are often having inadequate help with their addiction because that issue in elderly is often not thought as a serious and is often no diagnosed.


Causes Of Dependence In The Senior Citizens

There are several things involved in contributing to someone turning to substance abuse later in life. These could be health problems or life-altering occurrences which lead to a psychological burden.

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.


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

  • Retirement
  • Death of someone close, or a pet.
  • Financial Issues
  • Resettlement or placement in a nursing home
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Fights in the family
  • Mental or physical health decline (depression, amnesia, life-threatening operations, etc.)

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Risks From Addiction Among Older People

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. They are extremely addictive and easily prescribed. Year after year, the rate of elderly benzos dependencies is steadily increasing.


People above the age of 65 have a diminished capability to metabolize substances or alcohol together with a heightened brain sensitivity to them. The mere intake of drugs of alcohol in excess is already risky enough at this age.


Distinguishing 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

There is a decline in their mental health, physical health and personal relationships as people get older. Even though dependence can be troublesome to identify in this demographic, it's really vital to take note to any strange symptoms your aging loved one shows.

Below are few of the tricky signs of elderly addiction:

  • Memory problems
  • Changes in sleeping habits
  • Unexplained bruises
  • Irritability, sadness, depression
  • Unexplained chronic pain
  • Eating disorder
  • Prefers to be alone often
  • Undesirable hygiene
  • Getting out of contact with family and friends
  • Lack of interest in normal activities

It is crucial to search out a treatment centre that has particular experience working with seniors struggling with addiction, once an addiction is recognized.

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. 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

The high rate at which individuals 65 years and older are forming addictions to several substances is surely cause for concern and something that should not be neglected by healthcare professionals, caretakers or family members.