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Elderly Addiction Treatment

U.S. Census Bureau reports from 2012 that there were 43.2 million adults a bove the age of 65, and it is estimated to double by 2050, up to 83.7 million.  Many senior citizens are part of the baby boomer generation born between 1946 and 1964,  grew up in a culture of free love and drug experimentation.  The baby boomer generation consumed a lot of drugs and alcohol  This group struggled with addiction twice as much as the generations before them, and took it with them into their old age.

Alcohol is the most abused substance in the older generation. The medical journal Psych Central reported that around 3 million seniors over the age of 65 battle substance abuse.  And this number may jump to more than 6 million by the year 2020 identifying Substance Abuse and Addiction in the Older Population.

Elderly Substance Use Side Effects

Its not easy to diagnose substance abuse in adults over the age of 65, this is due to possible social isolation.  The elderly population is often retired and no longer in the workforce.so isolation is easy and someitmes unknown until it is too late.  Most elderly people needing drug and alcohol treatment, live alone or far away from family members and loved ones.

Side effects of Substance abuse and addiction may also be similar to signs of aging, which could possibly make substance abuse or dependency diagnosis more difficult.

Addiction may start as elderly individuals are likely not abusing drugs to get high but rather may be using them to reduce physical pain or emotional difficulties.  Studies show 83% of opiate addicted people, start with prescription opiods.

Larger amounts of alcohol or drugs may have bigger effects because older adults are also likely to have a co-morbid medical or mental health problem.

The Psychiatric Times states that psychiatric illness and substance abuse that it is likely to co-occur in the elderly population at rates between 21 - 66 percent.

Elderly Substance Abuse may start with taking more medication than prescribed at one time for pain or other illnesses.

Mixing medications with alcohol will cause complications as there are severe side effects that can occur when meds and alcohol are mixed.  However since many elderly people are on fixed income.  They may have financial problems and this may encourage the sharing of medications to save money.  Regardless of the reason for abusing prescription or illicit drugs or alcohol.  Abuse can lead to addiction, which is a brain disease that can be managed with the proper treatment and support.

Intervention for Elderly Substance Abuse

Recognizing substance abuse, is often the first step in getting necessary treatment for a drug or alcohol problem.  Most of the time, the addict does not recognize the need for treatment, and they require a little assistance from friends and family. In this case, an intervention may be necessary to convince to accept the help.. 

Intervention is basically a planned meeting where loved ones and family members sit in a group and explain the level of disfunction and set boundaries between them and the Alcoholic/Addict.  Receiving the help of a trained professional is crutial in the beginning planning process and all the way through to discharge and aftercare planning.

Age-Specific and Mixed-Age Addiction Treatment Programs

As the need for elderly addiction and mental health treatment increases.  More facilities like Wisdom Treatment Centers are providing care options that cater to this specific demographic.  The Opiate epidemic is only beginning andprofessionals say it is going to get worse before it gets better. There are usually two main types of treatment programs: Those that are general programs and contain all ages/genders, and those that are age- or peer-specific and tailored to certain populations  

Getting Help with Recovery

For elderly people, facing addiction, it can be especially humiliating and painful for this population. They may feel embarrassed or afraid but you don't need to be afraid.    You should know that addiction is a severe life threatening disease that can take anyone at any age.  At Wisdom Treatment Center our Adult Program addresses the multiple complex issues that are part of addiction in the older population.  We can help you and your family all the way through this journey. Recovery is possible at any age with the right help and internal motivation.  At wisdom Treatment Centers, we utilize the best science proven methods including motivational interviewing, DBT, CBT, Individual therapy, and Group therapy to helpdevelop the skills necessarry to overcome this devistating disease.

You can call us to speak to one of our drug rehabilitation experts who can guide you to a rehab center that can help.

Call our free confidential helpline

To Learn more about addiction treatment call our free 24/7 confidential Helpline on 888-906-4NOW or fill out the form below to speak to a trained addiction treatment counsellor and we will call you.