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Drug And Alcohol Dependence In The Elderly

Senior Citizens And Substance Addiction

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.

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

Substance abuse can be seen as a solution to these situations, which can lead to a comprehensive addiction. 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
  • The passing of someone they hold dearly.
  • Loss of income or financial issues
  • Relocation or placement in a nursing facility
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Family conflict
  • Mental or physical health deterioration (depression, memory loss, major surgeries, etc.)

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The Risks Of Senior Citizens Drug Misuse

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

It is found out that drugs like Benzodiazepines pose dangerous risks to elderly. They are extremely addictive and easily prescribed. There has been rise in the rate of elderly addicted to benzos.

Senior citizens have a decreased ability to metabolize drugs or alcohol along with an increased brain sensitivity to them. Even when the person is not addicted, it becomes harmful for seniors to use drugs or alcohol totally.

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.

It makes it simpler for doctors who come across an older patient to attribute deteriorating mental or physical health simply to "old age".

Drug Abuse And Its Symptoms Among Elderly

Physical, psychological health, as well as private relationships, often begin to suffer when a person ages. 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 problems
  • Changes in sleeping practices
  • Unexplained bruises
  • Irritability, sadness, depression
  • Unexplained chronic pain
  • Changes in eating traits
  • Want to be left alone
  • Failing to keep personal hygiene
  • Getting out of contact with family and friends
  • Lack of interest in normal 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.

It is also important to admit them to facilities that specialise in elderly addiction due to the commonly lacking family or social support at this age. The continued healthy lifestyle is allowed after the treatment with these case management services that provide the elderly with access to medical, psychiatric, and social resources.

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.