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Drug And Alcohol Addiction In The Elderly

Older Citizens And Dependence 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.


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.


Undercalculation and under diagnosis of addiction among people 65 and up can limit them from receiving the support they require.


Factors Of Addiction In The Elderly

There are many causes for developing a substance addiction even as a senior citizen. These could be health problems or life-altering occurrences which lead to a psychological burden.

Drug-abusing behaviour that can cause a full-scale addiction may be triggered by these events. Pick up the phone and talk to us on 0800 246 1509 if you or a loved one is battling substance abuse.


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
  • Resettlement or placement in a nursing home
  • Insomnia
  • Family conflict
  • Health deterioration (depression, memory loss, major surgeries, etc.)

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The Dangers Of Senior Citizen Substance Abuse

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

Some of the most dangerous prescription drugs for seniors are Benzodiazepines which are used to treat pain, anxiety or insomnia. These are generously prescribed and highly addictive. Every year the rate of senior citizens addicted to benzos increases.


People above the age of 65 have a diminished capability to metabolize substances or alcohol together with a heightened brain sensitivity to them. 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

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

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


Signs Of Addiction In Senior Citizens

As individuals become aged, their mental wellbeing, physical wellbeing and private ties may begin to drop. 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 loss or gap
  • Sleeping troubles
  • Unexplained bruises
  • Depression, irritability, sadness,
  • Unidentified chronic pain
  • Changes in eating habits
  • Wanting to be on your own most of the time
  • Lack of personal hygiene
  • Cutting off communication with family
  • Lack of interest in normal 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. 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 Addiction Statistics

The reason for concern and something that should not be ignored by medical professionals, caretakers or family members, is the alarming rate at which individuals 65 years and older are developing addictions to various substances.