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

Senior Citizens And Substance Addiction

The health effects of substance abuse for those over the age of 65 can be even more dangerous than in younger users, even it's not uncommon to develop an addiction later life.


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. 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 Dependence In The Elderly

Drug abuse occurring late in life can be attributed to few probable causes. Some of them may have dealt with desperate situations or are suffering hopelessness due to sickness.

Drug-abusing behaviour that can cause a full-scale addiction may be triggered by these events. Please give us a call on 0800 246 1509 today, if you or someone you know is battling with addiction problems later in life and requires assistance searching for a treatment program.


Possible inducers of substance or alcohol dependence in the older individuals are

  • Retirement
  • Death of spouse, a family member, pet or close friend.
  • Financial problems or job loss
  • Resettlement or placement in a nursing home
  • Insomnia
  • Family conflict
  • Mental or physical health deterioration (depression, memory loss, major surgeries, etc.)

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The Risk Of Elderly 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 dangerous prescription drugs for seniors are Benzodiazepines which are used to treat pain, anxiety or insomnia. These are prescribed generously and are more addictive. Year after year, the rate of elderly benzos dependencies is steadily increasing.


People above the age of 65 have a diminished capability to metabolize substances or alcohol together with a heightened brain sensitivity to them. This makes it very risky for elderly individuals to utilize substances or alcohol at all, despite the person being not addicted.


Identifying Substance Abuse Among Elderly Can Be Tricky

Some of the psychological or physical health issues, like dementia, depression or diabetes might actually have similar side effects to substance abuse.

This makes it very simple for physicians who come across an elderly patient to tally reducing psychological or physical health just to "old age."


Signs Of Addiction In Senior Citizens

There is a decline in their mental health, physical health and personal relationships as people 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

  • Amnesia
  • Sleeping troubles
  • Bruising without known reason
  • Irritability, sadness, depression
  • Unidentified chronic pain
  • Changes in eating habits
  • Prefers to be alone often
  • Undesirable personal hygiene
  • Cutting off communication with family
  • Non-participative in events or activities

It is imperative to ask professional assistance from experts once substance abuse is confirmed or recognized among elderly.

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. 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 Misuse 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.