Across the globe, people are witnessing an insurgence of substance use disorder epidemic among the elderly. This danger that has been lurking in our society has often gone unnoticed. Alcoholism and substance use addiction has plagued the youth but this addiction has become predominant among senior citizens. The article probes into the reasons behind this and the treatment options available to help our aging citizens.
Studies have shown a dramatic rise in alcoholics among the seniors
Research contributes that around 3 million seniors in America are alcoholics and suffer from substance abuse. The number is expected to be three times by 2020. The percentage of drug users among seniors has risen over 3% in the last 8 years. Doctors claim that hip fractures among seniors are caused due to interference of medicines with alcohol in the body.
Depression is the main cause for alcoholism among the seniors
Anxiety and depression among the aging citizens are considered to be the reasons for the use of drugs and alcohol in elders. Apart from these, this is a time when most elders lose their close friends and beloved ones. Deteriorating health conditions and memory loss are other reasons that fuel alcoholic tendencies.
The use of Marijuana among the elders has increased dramatically
Most elders think that the use of marijuana does not pose ill effects on the health. This is not true. Elders who use marijuana are more susceptible to psychological disorders, respiratory distress and cognitive problems. The use of marijuana also causes dependency to other harmful drugs. The rise in marijuana use among the senior population has significantly increased in the past couple of years.
Problems faced by the seniors when alcohol mixes with prescribed drugs
The risk of internal bleeding is very high among elders if the alcohol in the body interferes with prescribed medicines. Liver damage can also occur. Elders are also at a risk of having high blood pressure which can lead to brain hemorrhage. Loss of memory is also common. Dependency to alcohol is more among the senior people.
Alcoholism among the seniors usually goes unnoticed
Despite the fact that many elders have succumbed to alcohol, there is not sufficient data. The reason why doctors fail to diagnose alcoholism or substance use disorder among elderly is because the symptoms can often be similar to other diseases affected in old age.
Seniors have to choose a healthy lifestyle
Seniors who suffer from alcoholism and substance abuse should opt for a healthy lifestyle change. Some measures can be taken to adopt a change. Alcohol can be taken away from home and the seniors should eat good food while drinking and should not be drinking on an empty stomach. They should resort to other positive methods to deal with mood swings and should avoid the company of heavy drinkers.
Family members of senior alcoholics can help in abstinence
Elders should communicate with their family members about their addiction and family members should be in constant touch with them. Family members should provide emotional support and be able to motivate them to choose a healthy lifestyle. They should make the elders aware of the ill effects of alcohol and other illicit drugs and help them to access information about the same. Family members should help seniors to be in touch with counselors and support groups. They should drive the seniors to support meetings and should participate in meetings.
Various treatment centers are set up for seniors
Seniors who suffer from alcoholism and substance abuse should get treated. Doctors should be made aware of the drinking habit so that proper medication can be given. The treatment centers for seniors offer programs that are age and personality specific and can help seniors in achieving milestones towards complete recovery from alcoholism.
- Alcoholism among seniors is expected to rise in the coming years.
- Studies prove that the rate is going to be triple in a few years.
- Anxiety and depression in elders make them habitual drinkers.
- Loss of close friends is also another reason.
- Seniors also use marijuana which can be very bad for health.
- Alcohol when mixed with prescription drugs can cause problems in elders.
- Alcoholism in elders is not properly diagnosed.
- Seniors should resort to other activities of passion.
- Family can help seniors to recover.
- Seniors can go to treatment centers for complete recovery.
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