Drug and alcohol abuse is an increasingly dangerous health concern on the rise among seniors. This is often a hidden and overlooked topic that requires much more attention than it has garnered. Typically people have the stereotypical view of the younger addict more so than the elderly one. The fact of the matter is people of any age can become addicted. But with the help of Pasadena Drug Rehab Center you will definitely experience complete healing. Whether prescription drugs, street drugs or alcohol. Senior addiction is a big problem across North America.
Types of senior addicts
Senior’s who are addicts tend to fall into 2 categories.
- The first category of seniors are known as the “hardy survivor”. These are seniors who have been using drugs or alcohol over a long period of time. They’ve abused substances from a young age and have surprisingly survived into old age.
- The second type is referred to as late onset substance abusers. This is when people fall into addiction later on in life when they were able to avoid it during their younger years.
Why is senior addiction hidden
- Many seniors live alone making addiction go unnoticed
- Addiction can mimic symptoms of other age related conditions
- Symptoms of addictions such as strange behavior or falling can be confused with issues related to aging
- It’s common for seniors to be prescribed multiple prescriptions. Having pills around may not alert suspicion as it would with someone younger.
- Most tools used to diagnose addiction are designed mainly for younger people
What causes senior addiction
Seniors face different issues that can cause addiction rather than the ones faced by younger addicts.
- Retirement and a loss of purpose in life can lead a senior towards alcohol or drugs abuse.
- Again, many seniors live alone. Loneliness and seperation from family can lead to substance abuse.
- Grief over the loss of a spouse.
- Suffering from painful health conditions can lead to the addiction of pain medication.
- Financial strain.
- Fear of the future and fear of death.
- Physicians are less inclined to refer seniors to treatment for addiction. This can allow the problem to continue and be ignored.
Heath Risks of Senior Addiction
- Shortens the amount of time seniors have left to live.
- Substance abuse does greater physical and mental damage to seniors than younger people.
- Drug and alcohol tolerance levels decrease with age.
- Higher risk of falls and other injuries.
Signs of Senior Addiction
Knowing the signs of senior substance abuse is crucial to fighting this issue:
- Recurring falls and unexplained bruises.
- Secretive behavior and personality changes.
- Appearing to be unwell in the morning. Possibly caused by hangovers.
- Irritability, mood swings, and outburts of anger.
- Defiance when confronted about their addiction.
- Isolating behavior.
- Doctor stopping in order to obtain repeat prescriptions.
- Blackouts and memory impairment.
Not all of these symptoms are an indication that a senior is suffering from addiction. But identifying the signs are the first step to bring this often hidden and overlooked problem to the forefront. Let’s help ourselves and our seniors!
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