Dependence In The Elderly who-addiction-affects

Substance Abuse Among Elderly

The health effects of substance abuse for those over the age of 65 can be even more dangerous than in younger users, even it's not uncommon to develop an addiction later life.


A rapidly growing health problem in the United States is Drug and Alcohol abuse among the elderly. Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services says that substance use among senior citizens can be classified into two typical forms the "late onset" group, which is those who form addictions later in life and the "hardy survivor", or those who have been abusing substances for many years and have reached 65. Help and treatment can be taken advantage by elderly addicts in spite of their age.


Undercalculation and under diagnosis of addiction among people 65 and up can limit them from receiving the support they require.


Causes Of Dependence In The Senior Citizens

Many things could lead to someone turning to substance abuse later in life. These could be health problems or life-altering occurrences which lead to a psychological burden.

These situations may arouse substance ill-using trait that can lead to an all-out dependence. 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.


Here are some of the probable reasons why elderly are resorting to substance abuse

  • Retirement
  • Death of a close relative, partner, pet or close friend.
  • Loss of income or financial issues
  • Moving to another place or to a nursing home
  • Insomnia
  • Family fights
  • Psychological or physical health decline (depression, memory loss, major surgeries, and many more)

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Risks From Addiction Among Older People

Substance or alcohol misuse among the older individuals particularly very risky because elderly people are highly vulnerable to the dropping consequences of these drugs.

It is found out that drugs like Benzodiazepines pose dangerous risks to elderly. These are generously prescribed and highly addictive. There has been rise in the rate of elderly addicted to benzos.


Individuals over 65 have an increased brain sensitivity to drugs or alcohol along with a decreased ability to metabolize them. Thus it is dangerous for seniors to use drugs or alcohol at all, even if the person isn't dependent.


Identifying Substance Abuse Among Elderly Can Be Tricky

Symptoms of other medical or mental health disorders, such as diabetes, dementia or depression, may really be posed by alcohol or drug abuse.

There are cases where doctors attribute the deteriorating mental and physical condition to old age.


Signs Of Dependence In Elderly Individuals

This may not always be true but together with mental and physical health, relationships of older persons also decline. It is very significant to look for some extraordinary signs a senior citizen you care about shows, especially because it can be hard to spot an addiction in the older population.

Below are few of the tricky signs of elderly addiction

  • Amnesia
  • Changes in sleeping habits
  • Undetermined bruises
  • Irritability, sadness, depression
  • Undetermined chronic pain
  • Changes in eating habits
  • Want to be left alone
  • Undesirable personal hygiene
  • Getting out of contact with family and friends
  • Losing interest in regular activities

The moment dependence is discovered, it is very important to look for a healing base that has particular knowhow functioning with elderly facing dependence.

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

The reason for concern and something that should not be ignored by medical professionals, caretakers or family members, is the alarming rate at which individuals 65 years and older are developing addictions to various substances.