It's not new to grow dependence at a late stage in life, but the health consequences of drug ill-use for individuals above the age of 65 can be even more severe than in younger abusers.
A fast progressing health issue in the United States is drug and alcohol abuse among the elderly. The Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services classifies elderly addicts into hardy survivors (continuous substance abuse starting from younger years) and late onset (those who developed the habit during senior years). 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.
Causes Of Dependence In The Elderly
Many things could lead to someone turning to substance abuse later in life. Anything that has a strong emotional impact on a person, like health problems or some life-changing situations can contribute to this.
Substance abuse can be seen as a solution to these situations, which can lead to a comprehensive addiction. Pick up the phone and talk to us on 0800 772 3971 if you or a loved one is battling substance abuse.
Possible inducers of substance or alcohol dependence in the older individuals are:
Death of a close family member, spouse, friend or a pet.
Relocation or transferring to a nursing home
Fights in the family
Psychological or physical health decline (depression, memory loss, major surgeries, and many more)
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. Benzodiazepine addiction of elderly is found to have grown each year.
Senior citizens have a decreased ability to metabolize drugs or alcohol along with an increased brain sensitivity to them. Thus it is dangerous for seniors to use drugs or alcohol at all, even if the person isn't dependent.
Challenges In Identifying Addiction Of Senior Citizens
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.
Signs Of Addiction In Senior Citizens
As individuals become aged, their mental wellbeing, physical wellbeing and private ties may begin to drop. Even though addiction can be hard to identify in this demographic, it's essential to give attention to any unusual signs your elderly loved one exhibits.
Some signs of elderly drug abuse to look for include:
Alteration in sleeping habits
Irritability, depression, sadness
Persistent aches or pains
Changes in eating habits
Want to be left alone
Undesirable personal hygiene
Losing ties with loved ones
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.
You should identify plans that particularize in this form of dependence and as well provide case management services, as people above 65 usually lack the social help highly needed during recuperating. Approach to medical, psychiatric and social resources to permit for a healthy lifestyle to continue after treatment is offered to the seniors by these case management services.
Elderly Addiction 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.