Dependence In The Elderly who-addiction-affects

Senior Citizens And Substance Abuse

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). Help and treatment can be taken advantage by elderly addicts in spite of their age.


Cases among elderly are commonly overlooked thereby preventing them the opportunity for help or treatment.


Causes Of Addiction In Senior Citizens

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.

These situations may arouse substance ill-using trait that can lead to an all-out dependence. Pick up the phone and talk to us on 0800 246 1509 if you or a loved one is battling substance abuse.


Likely precipitants for drug or alcohol addiction in the elderly are

  • Retirement
  • The passing of someone they hold dearly.
  • Loss of income or financial issues
  • Resettlement or placement in a nursing home
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Family conflict
  • Physical or psychological health issues (depression, amnesia, life-threatening operations, etc.)

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The Risks Of Senior Citizens Drug Misuse

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

It is found out that drugs like Benzodiazepines pose dangerous risks to elderly. These are generously prescribed and highly addictive. The number of elderly people addicted to benzos have gone up each year.


Metabolizing substances is much more difficult for senior citizens, together with an enhanced brain sensitivity to drugs or alcohol. The mere intake of drugs of alcohol in excess is already risky enough at this age.


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.

Thus it gets easier for doctors who experience an older patient to chalk up declining mental or physical health simply to "old age".


Drug Abuse And Its Symptoms Among Elderly

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.

Drug usage in the elderly can sow itself in signs including

  • Memory problems
  • Changes in sleeping habits
  • Unexplained bruises
  • Depression, irritability, sadness,
  • Unexplained chronic pain
  • Changes in eating traits
  • Prefers to be alone often
  • Lack of personal hygiene
  • Losing ties 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.

It is also important to admit them to facilities that specialise in elderly addiction due to the commonly lacking family or social support at this age. These case management services will offer the ageing with reach to medical, psychiatric and social resources to grant for a very healthy wellbeing to progress after healing.


Senior Citizen Addiction Statistics

Family, medical practitioners, and caregivers are encouraged to be keen to the rising cases of elderly substance abuse and report them immediately.