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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. 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. If you want to beat your addiction, regardless of your age or when you began using a substance, there are numerous treatment alternatives you can choose from.


Addiction among people 65 and up is often under-diagnosed and underestimated, which can stop them from getting the help they need.


Factors Of Abuse Among Senior Citizens

Drug abuse occurring late in life can be attributed to few probable causes. These could turn out to be health-related concerns or life-changing situations that assume an emotional toll.

Substance abuse can be seen as a solution to these situations, which can lead to a comprehensive addiction. Please contact us today on 0800 246 1509 if you or a person you care about is having addiction troubles in their older age and require help with looking for a rehab program.


Likely precipitants for drug or alcohol addiction in the elderly are:

  • Retirement
  • Death of spouse, a family member, pet or close friend.
  • Financial strains or loss of income
  • Resettlement or placement in a nursing home
  • Insomnia
  • Family conflict
  • Physical or psychological health issues (depression, amnesia, life-threatening operations, 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.

It is found out that drugs like Benzodiazepines pose dangerous risks to elderly. Despite its addicting potency, it is commonly prescribed by doctors to older people. There has been rise in the rate of elderly addicted to benzos.


Metabolizing substances is much more difficult for senior citizens, together with an enhanced brain sensitivity to drugs or alcohol. The mere intake of drugs of alcohol in excess is already risky enough at this age.


Difficulties In Distinguishing Dependence In Senior Citizens

Alcohol or substance misuse may actually resemble signs of other medical or mental health illnesses, like diabetes, dementia or depression.

That is why "being old" is often a primary diagnosis for most psychological or physical health issues senior citizens receive at the doctor's.


Symptoms Of Dependency In Senior Citizens

Physical, psychological health, as well as private relationships, often begin to suffer when a person ages. It's important to pay attention to any unusual signs your elderly loved one displays, although addiction can be difficult to recognize in this demographic.

Below are few of the tricky signs of elderly addiction:

  • Amnesia
  • Changes in sleeping habits
  • Undetermined bruises
  • Irritability, depression, sadness
  • Undetermined chronic pain
  • Changes in eating habits
  • Prefers to be alone often
  • Undesirable hygiene
  • Cutting off communication with family
  • Losing interest in usual activities

It is crucial to search out a treatment centre that has particular experience working with seniors struggling with addiction, once an addiction is recognized.

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. 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

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.