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Drug And Alcohol Addiction of Senior Citizens

Senior Citizens And Substance Addiction

Drug abusers aged 65 and above are prone to more risks and it may be surprising but addiction is common even at this age.


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.


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. Anything that has a strong emotional impact on a person, like health problems or some life-changing situations can contribute to this.

Drug-abusing behaviour may be provoked by these events that can result in a full-scale addiction. Please give us a call on 0800 246 1509 today, if you or someone you know is battling with addiction problems later in life and requires assistance searching for a treatment program.


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

  • Retirement
  • Death of a close relative, partner, pet or close friend.
  • Financial problems or job loss
  • Resettlement or placement in a nursing home
  • Insomnia
  • Family fights
  • Mental or physical health decline (depression, amnesia, life-threatening operations, etc.)

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The Risks Of Senior Citizens Drug Misuse

Senior citizens are more susceptible to the deteriorating effects of drug and alcohol, therefore, these substances are particularly dangerous among the elderly.

Benzodiazepines, which are applied to heal anxiety, pain or sleep disorder, are a few of the most risky prescription drugs for the elderly. These are prescribed generously and are more addictive. Benzodiazepine addiction of elderly is found to have grown each year.


Metabolizing substances is much more difficult for senior citizens, together with an enhanced brain sensitivity to drugs or alcohol. 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

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

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


Symptoms Of Dependency In Older People

There is a decline in their mental health, physical health and personal relationships as people get older. 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.

Drug usage in the elderly can sow itself in signs including:

  • Memory loss or gap
  • Sleeping troubles
  • Unexplained bruises
  • Depression, irritability, sadness,
  • Unexplained chronic pain
  • Changes in eating traits
  • Preference to solitude
  • Failing to bathe or stay clean
  • Cutting off communication with family
  • Lack of interest in normal 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.

You should identify plans that particularize in this form of dependence and as well provide case management services, as people above 65 usually lack the social help highly needed during recuperating. Approach to medical, psychiatric and social resources to permit for a healthy lifestyle to continue after treatment is offered to the seniors by these case management services.


Senior Citizen Abuse 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.