Substance Abuse Among Elderly
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.
In the UK, substance addiction among senior citizens is a constantly increasing health issue. 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). 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.
Undercalculation and under diagnosis of addiction among people 65 and up can limit them from receiving the support they require.
Causes Of Addiction In Senior Citizens
Many things could lead to someone turning to substance abuse later in life. These could turn out to be health-related concerns or life-changing situations that assume 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.
Some of the reasons that provoke senior citizens to begin substance abuse are
- Death of someone close, or a pet.
- Loss of income or financial stress
- Resettlement or placement in a nursing home
- Difficulty sleeping
- Family conflict
- Health deterioration (depression, memory loss, major surgeries, etc.)
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The Risk Of Senior Citizen Substance Abuse
Older persons are at greater risk of experiencing hazardous effects of drugs and alcohol, which means that substance abuse is a lot more dangerous for them.
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. 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.
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".
Symptoms Of Dependency In Senior Citizens
The mental health, physical health and personal relationships of people may start to deteriorate as they 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.
Some symptoms of senior citizen drug abuse you should pay attention to are
- Memory problems
- Erratic sleeping habits
- Unexplained bruises
- Irritability, sadness, depression
- Persistent aches or pains
- Changes in eating habits
- Desire to be left alone
- Failing to bathe or stay clean
- Cutting off communication with family
- Lack of interest in regular 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.
Since individuals over 65 particularly are devoid of the social support needed throughout recovery, so you should search for programs that specialize in this kind of addiction and also provide case management services. 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 Misuse 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.