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.
A fast progressing health issue in the United States is drug and alcohol abuse among the elderly. 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. There are treatment options available to help you get back on a healthy path, regardless of how old you are or when your addiction started.
Addiction among people 65 and up is often under-diagnosed and underestimated, which can stop them from getting the help they need.
Causes Of Dependence In The Senior Citizens
Many things could lead to someone turning to substance abuse later in life. These could be health problems or life-altering occurrences which lead to a psychological burden.
Substance abuse can be seen as a solution to these situations, which can lead to a comprehensive 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 772 3971.
Possible triggers for drug or alcohol addiction in the elderly are
- Death of a close relative, partner, pet or close friend.
- Financial problems or job loss
- Moving to another place or to a nursing home
- Family conflict
- Mental or physical health decline (depression, amnesia, life-threatening operations, etc.)
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The Dangers Of Senior Citizen Substance Abuse
Substance or alcohol misuse among the older individuals particularly very risky because elderly people are highly vulnerable to the dropping consequences of these drugs.
Some of the most innocuous prescription drugs for the elderly is Benzodiazepines, which are used to treat anxiety, pain or insomnia. These are openly prescribed and very dependent. Benzodiazepine addiction of elderly is found to have grown each year.
Individuals over 65 have an increased brain sensitivity to drugs or alcohol along with a decreased ability to metabolize them. That means that even those senior citizens that aren't addicted are exposing themselves to increased risk if they use drugs or alcohol.
Identifying Substance Abuse Among Elderly Can Be Tricky
Symptoms of other medical or mental health disorders, such as diabetes, dementia or depression, may really be posed by alcohol or drug abuse.
There are cases where doctors attribute the deteriorating mental and physical condition to old age.
Signs Of Addiction In Senior Citizens
Physical, psychological health, as well as private relationships, often begin to suffer when a person ages. 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 signs of elderly drug abuse to look for include
- Memory troubles
- Sleeping troubles
- Undetermined bruises
- Irritability, depression, sadness
- Unexplained chronic pain
- Changes in eating traits
- Want to be left alone
- Undesirable personal hygiene
- Losing communication 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.
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.
Senior Citizen Abuse Statistics
Family, medical practitioners, and caregivers are encouraged to be keen to the rising cases of elderly substance abuse and report them immediately.