Addiction does not have an age limit. While addiction is typically looked at as a disease that affects younger generations, it can also be prevalent among senior populations. Studies have shown an increase in senior’s abusing prescription medications, as well as other addictive substances.
In a report released by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration approximately 4 million adults age 50 and older have used an illicit drug within the past year. With an alarming rise in the number of seniors abusing drugs and alcohol it is clear that there is a great need for senior addiction rehab and recovery facilities.
Identifying a Substance Abuse Problem in Senior Adults
Many senior adults take prescription drug medications for various ailments. This makes it difficult in determining if your loved one is abusing a medication . However there are many tell-tail signs of substance abuse problems in people of all ages, including:
- Changes in appetite
- Increased isolation
- Memory lapse
- Poor hygiene
- Unsteady gait
Due to the fact that seniors may suffer from one or more chronic illnesses, they are more likely to suffer from a substance abuse problem. Many will mix together prescription and over the counter medications, putting their health at great risk.
Some seniors may combine alcohol and medications together, despite being advised not to by the prescribing doctor. For many this is a continuation of patterns that developed in earlier years.
Various stresses that accompany the aging process are the leading cause of substance abuse in senior adults as they are looking for a way to cope and to stay connected with their youth. Regular substance abuse tends to have the opposite affect than the individual hoped, only to worsen their health problems and potentially create new ones.
Seniors at Risk of Developing a Substance Abuse Problem
With changes in the daily life of a senior, as well as changes within their bodies it is not uncommon for a substance abuse problem to occur. Individuals at risk of developing a substance abuse problem may have the following risk factors:
- Chronic pain
- Earlier substance abuse
- Family history of substance abuse
- Living alone
- Mental health issues
If you have noticed any of signs of substance abuse within your friend or family member, as well as if they fit any of the risk factors above, it is important not to ignore it. It is time to reach out for your loved one and ask for help. Contact Senior Rehabs today at 1 (866) 501-3366