The face of addiction frequently is represented by a homeless person and in recent years has begun to take shape in the younger generation through the opioid epidemic. Elderly people is not the generation who society looks to where addiction is concerned, but addiction does not discriminate against anyone who picks up a drink or a drug. Seniors are just as susceptible to getting addicted to drugs and alcohol and may actually be more prone with the factors in their environment.
- Widowers over the age of 75 are highly inclined to become addicted to alcohol.
- 40 percent of prescription drugs are designated to ages 65 and up.
With the aging process, elderly persons may need help with insomnia and chronic pain. Doctors may prescribe narcotic painkillers, tranquilizers, and sleeping medication that are highly addictive especially in a senescent body that may begin to rely heavily on drugs to feel better. Seniors also tend to use over-the-counter medications and dietary supplements to help with common ailments that are just part of becoming older. The problem with OTC medicines and supplements is that they can cause complications with prescription medications when mixed inappropriately.
In addition to the onset of substance abuse, elderly patients are often misdiagnosed when it comes to addiction. Drug and alcohol addiction can mimic that of other serious conditions including diabetes, depression, heart problems, hypertension, and dementia. Although doctors should be prepared for the signs of addiction, they can go under the radar when senior try to hide their substances or lies about what they are consuming. An addiction with an elderly family member may be subtler due to their age and physical limitations. Loved ones can be instrumental in recognizing the signs of addiction in seniors to help get them the help that they need to get much quicker.
- Hiding medication or alcohol bottles
- Drinking in the company of others who are not
- Loss of interest in pleasurable activities
- Irritation when asked about medications
- Multiple doctors for the same prescription
- Poor hygiene
- Slurred speech
- Slowed motor skills
- Drinking with prescription medication despite the warnings
- Sleeping in excess
- Becoming more volatile
- Declining memory at a rapid pace
The interactions that seniors have with drugs and alcohol can cause faster debilitation and more severe reactions. Aging persons that need treatment for addiction will also try to refuse help because what is the point if they are dying any way. The truth of the matter is addiction treatment has a multitude of benefits to offer elderly loved ones that can keep them around for years to come.
Serenity Oaks Wellness Center is a 5-week extensive program that helps someone who has struggled with drugs and alcohol to get sober. Our holistic therapy and 12-Step aspects combined will show our clients how to adorn their souls in recovery.
Call us today: 844-720-6847