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Drug And Alcohol Dependence In The Elderly

Older Citizens And Dependence Abuse

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


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. Irrespective of what age you are or when your dependence commenced, there are healing alternatives present to assist you assume a healthy life.


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.


Factors Of Abuse Among 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.

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.


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 to a nursing home
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Family conflict
  • Mental or physical health decline (depression, amnesia, life-threatening operations, etc.)

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Risks From Addiction Among Older People

Substance or alcohol misuse among the older individuals particularly very risky because elderly people are highly vulnerable to the dropping consequences of these drugs.

Benzodiazepines, which are applied to heal anxiety, pain or sleep disorder, are a few of the most risky prescription drugs for the elderly. These are openly prescribed and very dependent. The number of elderly people addicted to benzos have gone up each year.


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.


Challenges In Identifying Addiction Of Senior Citizens

Drug or Alcohol abuse may actually imitate symptoms of other mental or medical health disorders, such as dementia, diabetes or depression.

This makes it very simple for physicians who come across an elderly patient to tally reducing psychological or physical health just 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 addiction can be hard to identify in this demographic, it's essential to give attention to any unusual signs your elderly loved one exhibits.

Some signs of elderly drug abuse to look for include:

  • Memory troubles
  • Changes in sleeping practices
  • Bruising without known reason
  • Feeling irritable, sad and depressed
  • Unexplained chronic pain
  • Eating disorder
  • Desire to be left alone
  • Undesirable hygiene
  • Losing communication with loved ones
  • Losing interest in usual activities

The moment dependence is discovered, it is very important to look for a healing base that has particular knowhow functioning with elderly facing dependence.

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.


Elderly Addiction Statistics

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