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 rapidly growing health problem in the United States is Drug and Alcohol abuse among the elderly. 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. 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.
Cases among elderly are commonly overlooked thereby preventing them the opportunity for help or treatment.
Causes Of Dependence In The Elderly
There are various factors that could lead to a person begin embracing drug misuse later in life. These could be life-changing events or health-related issues that take an emotional toll.
Drug-abusing behaviour that can cause a full-scale addiction may be triggered by these events. Please give us a call on 0800 772 3971 today, if you or someone you know is battling with addiction problems later in life and requires assistance searching for a treatment program.
Likely precipitants for drug or alcohol addiction in the elderly are:
Death of a close family member, spouse, friend or a pet.
Financial strains or loss of income
Resettlement or placement in a nursing home
Mental or physical health deterioration (depression, memory loss, major surgeries, etc.)
Substance or alcohol misuse among the older individuals particularly very risky because elderly people are highly vulnerable to the dropping consequences of these drugs.
It is found out that drugs like Benzodiazepines pose dangerous risks to elderly. These are prescribed generously and are more addictive. The number of elderly people addicted to benzos have gone up each year.
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
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".
Signs Of Dependence In Elderly Individuals
The mental health, physical health and personal relationships of people may start to deteriorate as they 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.
A few symptoms of senior citizens substance misuse to search for are:
Memory loss or gap
Changes in sleeping practices
Bruising without known reason
Depression, irritability, sadness,
Unidentified chronic pain
Eating pattern changes
Wanting to be on your own most of the time
Undesirable personal hygiene
Losing ties with loved ones
Non-participative in events or activities
It is critical to find out a treatment centre that has specific experience working with seniors facing addiction once an addiction is identified.
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. Getting them access to case management services will also enable them to enjoy other resources necessary to their recovery be it medical, psychiatric or relational support.
Senior Citizen 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.