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Dependence In The Elderly

Senior Citizens And Substance Abuse

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.


Substance and alcohol misuse amidst the senior is a quickly developing health issue within the United States. The Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services classifies elderly addicts into hardy survivors (continuous substance abuse starting from younger years) and late onset (those who developed the habit during senior years). Help and treatment can be taken advantage by elderly addicts in spite of their age.


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


Factors Of Addiction In The Elderly

There are several things involved in contributing to someone turning to substance abuse 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.

These situations may arouse substance ill-using trait that can lead to an all-out dependence. Pick up the phone and talk to us on 0800 246 1509 if you or a loved one is battling substance abuse.


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

  • Retirement
  • Death of a close relative, partner, pet or close friend.
  • Loss of income or financial stress
  • Relocation or placement in a nursing facility
  • Insomnia
  • Family fights
  • Psychological or physical health decline (depression, memory loss, major surgeries, and many more)

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The Risk Of Senior Citizen Substance Abuse

The human body becomes more vulnerable to the ill effects of drugs as it grows older.

Benzodiazepines are probably the most hazardous prescription substances for elderly, even though they are generally used to treat pain, anxiety and sleeping issues. 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. Thus it is dangerous for seniors to use drugs or alcohol at all, even if the person isn't dependent.


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.

There are cases where doctors attribute the deteriorating mental and physical condition to old age.


Drug Abuse And Its Symptoms Among Elderly

As individuals become aged, their mental wellbeing, physical wellbeing and private ties may begin to drop. It is very significant to look for some extraordinary signs a senior citizen you care about shows, especially because it can be hard to spot an addiction in the older population.

Some signs of elderly drug abuse to look for include:

  • Memory troubles
  • Sleeping troubles
  • Bruising without known reason
  • Depression, irritability, sadness,
  • Undetermined chronic pain
  • Changes in eating traits
  • Wanting to be on your own most of the time
  • Lack of personal 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.

People over 65 usually don't have enough support that is needed after treatment, so you need to find a specific program that provides case management services in addition to having experience in dealing with elderly 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

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.