Drug And Alcohol Addiction In The Elderly who-addiction-affects

Senior Citizens And Substance Addiction

Drug abusers aged 65 and above are prone to more risks and it may be surprising but addiction is common even at this age.


A rapidly growing health problem in the United States is Drug and Alcohol abuse among the elderly. According to the Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services, drug misuse within older citizens can be grouped into two general types the "hardy survivor," or those who have been misusing drugs for several years and have attained 65, and the "late onset" squad, which is those who develop dependence at a later stage in life. 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 Addiction In Senior Citizens

There are various factors that could lead to a person begin embracing drug misuse 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.

These situations may arouse substance ill-using trait that can lead to an all-out dependence. 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

  • Retirement
  • Death of a close relative, partner, pet or close friend.
  • Financial problems or job loss
  • Relocation or placement in a nursing facility
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Family fights
  • Psychological or physical health decline (depression, memory loss, major surgeries, and many more)

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The Risk Of Senior Citizen Substance Abuse

Senior citizens are more susceptible to the deteriorating effects of drug and alcohol, therefore, these substances are particularly dangerous among the elderly.

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. There has been rise in the rate of elderly addicted to benzos.


People above the age of 65 have a diminished capability to metabolize substances or alcohol together with a heightened brain sensitivity to them. That means that even those senior citizens that aren't addicted are exposing themselves to increased risk if they use drugs or alcohol.


Difficulties In Distinguishing Dependence In Senior Citizens

Alcohol or substance misuse may actually resemble signs of other medical or mental health illnesses, like diabetes, dementia or depression.

There are cases where doctors attribute the deteriorating mental and physical condition to old age.


Symptoms Of Dependency In Senior Citizens

As individuals become aged, their mental wellbeing, physical wellbeing and private ties may begin to drop. It's important to pay attention to any unusual signs your elderly loved one displays, although addiction can be difficult to recognize in this demographic.

A few symptoms of senior citizens substance misuse to search for are

  • Memory problems
  • Sleeping troubles
  • Unexplained bruises
  • Depression, irritability, sadness,
  • Unidentified chronic pain
  • Changes in eating traits
  • Want to be left alone
  • Failing to bathe or stay clean
  • Losing communication with loved ones
  • Lack of interest in normal activities

It is critical to find out a treatment centre that has specific experience working with seniors facing addiction once an addiction is identified.

Individuals over 65 typically lack the social support required throughout recovery therefore, you should look for programs that offer case management services and also specialize in this type of 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 Addiction Statistics

The alerting level at which people with 65 years and older are growing dependencies to different drugs is definitely reason for worry and a thing that should not be neglected by medical personnel, caretakers or blood relations.