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Dependence In The Elderly

Older Citizens And Dependence Abuse

If a person is older than 65 and has a substance addiction, which is not unheard of, the health consequences can be a lot more hazardous than with younger addicts.


It was found that substance abuse among elderly in the United States is increasing at an unprecedented rate. Drug and alcohol abuse among elderly is, according to the Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services, classified in a couple of general groups: the "late onset" addicts, which is a group that developed the addiction in their older years, and "hardy survivor" which is a term for addicts that have been abusing drug or alcohol for a longer period and have turned 65 in the meantime. 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.


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.


Causes Of Addiction In Senior Citizens

There are several things involved in contributing to someone turning to substance abuse later in life. These could be life-changing events or health-related issues that take an emotional toll.

These situations may arouse substance ill-using trait that can lead to an all-out dependence. 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.


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

  • Retirement
  • Death of spouse, a family member, pet or close friend.
  • Financial strains or loss of income
  • Relocation to a nursing home
  • Insomnia
  • Family conflict
  • Health deterioration (depression, memory loss, major surgeries, 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. Benzodiazepine addiction of elderly is found to have grown each year.


Metabolizing substances is much more difficult for senior citizens, together with an enhanced brain sensitivity to drugs or alcohol. That means that even those senior citizens that aren't addicted are exposing themselves to increased risk if they use drugs or alcohol.


Distinguishing Addiction In The Elderly

Alcohol or substance misuse may actually resemble signs of other medical or mental health illnesses, like diabetes, dementia 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."


Drug Abuse And Its Symptoms Among Elderly

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.

A few symptoms of senior citizens substance misuse to search for are:

  • Memory troubles
  • Erratic sleeping habits
  • Unexplained bruises
  • Depression, anxiety, sadness
  • Undetermined chronic pain
  • Eating disorder
  • Wanting to be on your own most of the time
  • Undesirable personal hygiene
  • Losing ties with loved ones
  • Losing interest in regular activities

It is important to look for a rehab facility when you recognize an addiction, especially one with a particular expertise with addiction among elderly.

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. Getting them access to case management services will also enable them to enjoy other resources necessary to their recovery be it medical, psychiatric or relational support.


Senior Citizen Abuse Statistics

Family, friends, care providers and doctors need to stop ignoring the disturbing rate of addictions to numerous substances among people age 65 and older since it really is a thing to worry about.