Print Posted 04/19/2017 in Category 1

Addiction in the Elderly

Addiction in the Elderly

All different types of demographics can be affected by the hellacious condition of addiction.  Though, there tends to be demographics that are more likely to fall into addiction per statistics.  One of the groups that have been developing addictions much more frequently is those of older ages.  In fact, according to the Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services, 17 percent of those 65 or older in the U.S. have abused prescription medications.  

The increased rates of older individuals falling into addiction have come about relatively recently over the past decade or two.  This is not necessarily looking at those who have had addictions that continued for many years into their older ages, but rather those older individuals who developed addictions more recently.  

How Older Individuals Develop Addictions

There could be a multitude of reasons behind these rising trends, but there is a major one that can be immediately identified.  That would be the massive spread of the opioid epidemic.  The reality is that the prescription rates have skyrocketed, and over the past few years have been higher than ever.  More and more individuals are being prescribed opioids, as well as being prescribed them for longer lengths of time.  An older person may not be the type to necessarily go out and use drugs off of the street, but they will often trust their doctor and continue to use these medications, which could bring about an addiction.  In fact, there are many elderly individuals who are placed on prescription opioids long term or indefinitely for pain management reasons, which can easily result in an addiction with the amount of time they will be using them.  

The Role of Physical Health

Some older individuals can have more fragile or weak health, which could potentially contribute to this situation.  These medications could easily affect them more strongly than they would a young, able bodied individual.  Being that these drugs can be highly addictive as it is, the potential of an addiction could be even higher when the person’s body cannot handle or process them as easily.  

When Needing Help for a Drug or Alcohol Addiction

Addiction can completely destroy an individual’s life, including their relationships, career, family, and various other things.  Fortunately, addiction is never impossible to overcome, though it can often require treatment for a person to be able to do so.  There are many different types of rehab centers and treatment modalities that an individual can choose from, and there are centers with different offerings all over the country.  But, because of the large amount of treatment centers out there, it can sometimes be tough to know which one to choose.  We are here to help with that, as our staff is familiar with the centers around the country and their different offerings.  They can help find the rehab facility that is the ideal fit for you or your loved one.  Do not wait, give us a call today.  

For more information check out our Drug Prevention Guide For The Elderly

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