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. Drug and alcohol abuse among elderly is, according to the Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services, classified in a couple of general groups: the "late onset" addicts, which is a group that developed the addiction in their older years, and "hardy survivor" which is a term for addicts that have been abusing drug or alcohol for a longer period and have turned 65 in the meantime. Irrespective of what age you are or when your dependence commenced, there are healing alternatives present to assist you assume a healthy life.
Undercalculation and under diagnosis of addiction among people 65 and up can limit them from receiving the support they require.
Factors Of Addiction In The Elderly
There are several things involved in contributing to someone turning to substance abuse later in life. These could be life-changing events or health-related issues that take an emotional toll.
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 772 3971 if you or a loved one is battling substance abuse.
Likely precipitants for drug or alcohol addiction in the elderly are:
Death of someone close, or a pet.
Financial strains or loss of income
Relocation or transferring to a nursing home
Fights in the family
Physical or psychological health issues (depression, amnesia, life-threatening operations, etc.)
Substance or alcohol misuse among the older individuals particularly very risky because elderly people are highly vulnerable to the dropping consequences of these drugs.
Benzodiazepines, which are applied to heal anxiety, pain or sleep disorder, are a few of the most risky prescription drugs for the elderly. They are extremely addictive and easily prescribed. Benzodiazepine addiction of elderly is found to have grown each year.
People above the age of 65 have a diminished capability to metabolize substances or alcohol together with a heightened brain sensitivity to them. Thus it is dangerous for seniors to use drugs or alcohol at all, even if the person isn't dependent.
Distinguishing Addiction In The Elderly
The effects or symptoms manifested by elderly abusers could be mistaken with symptoms of dementia, diabetes and other health issues suffered by older people.
This makes it very simple for physicians who come across an elderly patient to tally reducing psychological or physical health just 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. 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:
Memory loss or gap
Alteration in sleeping habits
Bruising without known reason
Irritability, depression, sadness
Unexplained chronic pain
Changes in eating traits
Desire to be left alone
Lack of personal hygiene
Losing contact with loved ones
Non-participative in events or activities
It is critical to find out a treatment centre that has specific experience working with seniors facing addiction once an addiction is identified.
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. Getting them access to case management services will also enable them to enjoy other resources necessary to their recovery be it medical, psychiatric or relational support.
Elderly Addiction Statistics
Family, medical practitioners, and caregivers are encouraged to be keen to the rising cases of elderly substance abuse and report them immediately.