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Elderly And Their Addiction

Substance Addiction Among Senior Citizens

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.


In the UK, substance addiction among senior citizens is a constantly increasing health issue. 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. There are treatment options available to help you get back on a healthy path, regardless of how old you are or when your addiction started.


Addiction among people 65 and up is often under-diagnosed and underestimated, which can stop them from getting the help they need.


Factors Of Abuse Among Senior Citizens

Many things could lead to someone turning to substance abuse later in life. Some of them may have dealt with desperate situations or are suffering hopelessness due to sickness.

These are few of the things that are causing older folks to turn to substance abuse. Please contact us today on 0800 246 1509 if you or a person you care about is having addiction troubles in their older age and require help with looking for a rehab program.


Possible triggers for drug or alcohol addiction in the elderly are:

  • Retirement
  • Death of a close relative, partner, pet or close friend.
  • Financial strains or loss of income
  • Relocation to a nursing home
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Family fights
  • Mental or physical health deterioration (depression, memory loss, major surgeries, etc.)

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The Risks Of Senior Citizens Drug Misuse

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 generously prescribed and highly addictive. Year after year, the rate of elderly benzos dependencies is steadily increasing.


Metabolizing substances is much more difficult for senior citizens, together with an enhanced brain sensitivity to drugs or alcohol. 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

The effects or symptoms manifested by elderly abusers could be mistaken with symptoms of dementia, diabetes and other health issues suffered by older people.

That is why "being old" is often a primary diagnosis for most psychological or physical health issues senior citizens receive at the doctor's.


Symptoms Of Dependency In Older People

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

Drug usage in the elderly can sow itself in signs including:

  • Memory troubles
  • Erratic sleeping habits
  • Unexplained bruises
  • Depression, anxiety, sadness
  • Undetermined chronic pain
  • Eating disorder
  • Prefers to be alone often
  • Lack of personal hygiene
  • Getting out of contact with family and friends
  • Losing interest in regular activities

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

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. 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.


Senior Citizen Misuse Statistics

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