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Drug And Alcohol Addiction of Senior Citizens

Older Citizens And Dependence 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.


It was found that substance abuse among elderly in the United States is increasing at an unprecedented rate. 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. Help and treatment can be taken advantage by elderly addicts in spite of their age.


People older than 65 are often having inadequate help with their addiction because that issue in elderly is often not thought as a serious and is often no diagnosed.


Factors Of Abuse Among Senior Citizens

Many things could lead to someone turning to substance abuse later in life. These could turn out to be health-related concerns or life-changing situations that assume an emotional toll.

Drug-abusing behaviour may be provoked by these events that can result in a full-scale addiction. Please call us now on 0800 246 1509 if you or someone you know is struggling with addiction issues later in life and need help finding 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.
  • Loss of income or financial issues
  • Relocation or placement in a nursing facility
  • Insomnia
  • Fights in the family
  • Psychological or physical health decline (depression, memory loss, major surgeries, and many more)

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The Risk Of Elderly Substance Abuse

Older persons are at greater risk of experiencing hazardous effects of drugs and alcohol, which means that substance abuse is a lot more dangerous for them.

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. Benzodiazepine addiction of elderly is found to have grown each year.


Senior citizens have a decreased ability to metabolize drugs or alcohol along with an increased brain sensitivity to them. Even when the person is not addicted, it becomes harmful for seniors to use drugs or alcohol totally.


Distinguishing Addiction In The Elderly

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

It makes it simpler for doctors who come across an older patient to attribute deteriorating mental or physical health simply to "old age".


Signs Of Addiction In Senior Citizens

This may not always be true but together with mental and physical health, relationships of older persons also decline. 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 loss
  • Alteration in sleeping habits
  • Unexplained bruises
  • Irritability, depression, sadness
  • Unexplained chronic pain
  • Changes in eating traits
  • Prefers to be alone often
  • Undesirable personal hygiene
  • Losing communication with loved ones
  • Losing interest in regular 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. 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 Abuse 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.