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Drug And Alcohol Addiction of Senior Citizens

Substance Abuse Among Elderly

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.


In the UK, substance addiction among senior citizens is a constantly increasing health issue. 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 Addiction In The Elderly

Many things could lead 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.

Drug-abusing behaviour that can cause a full-scale addiction may be triggered by these events. Whether you or a person you know is fighting with dependence problems later in life and require detecting a healing plan, contact us on 0800 246 1509.


Likely precipitants for drug or alcohol addiction in the elderly are:

  • Retirement
  • Death of spouse, a family member, pet or close friend.
  • Financial Issues
  • Relocation to a nursing home
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Family conflict
  • Mental or physical health decline (depression, amnesia, life-threatening operations, etc.)

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The Dangers Of Senior Citizen Substance Abuse

Senior citizens are more susceptible to the deteriorating effects of drug and alcohol, therefore, these substances are particularly dangerous among the elderly.

Some of the most innocuous prescription drugs for the elderly is Benzodiazepines, which are used to treat anxiety, pain or insomnia. These are generously prescribed and highly addictive. Year after year, the rate of elderly benzos dependencies is steadily increasing.


Individuals over 65 have an increased brain sensitivity to drugs or alcohol along with a decreased ability to metabolize them. Thus it is dangerous for seniors to use drugs or alcohol at all, even if the person isn't dependent.


Difficulties In Distinguishing Dependence In Senior Citizens

Symptoms of other medical or mental health disorders, such as diabetes, dementia or depression, may really be posed by alcohol or drug abuse.

This makes it very simple for physicians who come across an elderly patient to tally reducing psychological or physical health just to "old age."


Signs Of Dependence In Elderly Individuals

The mental health, physical health and personal relationships of people may start to deteriorate as they get older. The task of recognizing the real symptoms of abuse among elderly can be tricky but it pays to be a little more keen to their behaviour or demeanour.

Below are few of the tricky signs of elderly addiction:

  • Amnesia
  • Changes in sleeping practices
  • Undetermined bruises
  • Feeling irritable, sad and depressed
  • Unexplained chronic pain
  • Changes in eating habits
  • Preference to solitude
  • Undesirable hygiene
  • Losing communication 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.

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.


Elderly Addiction 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.