Prescription drug addiction is a problem among the senior population.
Prescription drug abuse is a growing concern across all walks of life and among every age group. The consequences for seniors, however, can be far more devastating due to their health and vulnerability. As these individuals get older, they are more likely to be exposed to prescription medications and like other prescription drug users, succumb to tolerance, dependency and ultimately, addiction.
About Prescription Drug Abuse
Despite controversy, many people abuse prescription drugs due to developmental changes within their brains and not because they lack willpower or ability to control their behaviors. They may increase the dose, or take the drugs more frequently to relieve unpleasant or unwanted symptoms and these repeat changes are what lead to compulsive behaviors to use more. Dependency results in withdrawal symptoms that range in severity and often are the compelling factor causing many to continue the abuse.
Prescription Drug Abuse in Seniors
According to a published study by the National Institutes of Health, “it is estimated that the number of adults of this age in need of substance abuse treatment will increase from 1.7 million in 2000 and 2001 to 4.4 million in 2020”. Seniors who are exposed to prescription drugs may be likely to misuse or abuse them because:
They are susceptible to more episodes of pain and the emotional stress that comes with it.
They are often prescribed an assortment of drugs for various purposes.
Seniors are more vulnerable to physical and psychological effects from the drugs, due to cognitive decline or other physical impairments that affect their ability to metabolize the drugs.
Memory impairments may lead them to use more than intended.
Other drugs they are prescribed may cause reactions for which they try to overcompensate for.
Their lack of experience and judgment regarding the side effects of prescription drugs makes them vulnerable to their use and abuse and safety becomes a grave concern.
They may live on a fixed income and share their medications in order to save money.
Recognizing Prescription Drug Abuse in Seniors
Like other prescription drug abusers, seniors present various signs when abusing prescriptions drugs such as:
Intentionally using prescription drugs frequently or in greater amounts than prescribed.
Tolerance – using increasingly higher amounts to achieve a desired effect.
Using someone else’s prescription drugs or using them recreationally.
Using prescription drugs in alternative ways such as snorting or injecting.
Physical deteriorations, impairments, or adverse changes including weight loss, impaired cognitive or motor functioning, lack of hygiene, neglect of health, excessive sleeping, or insomnia.
Loss of interest or pleasure in activities once important or fun to them.
Increased anxiety or obsession over their next dose.
Increased mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, irritability, agitation, inability to order thoughts or focus, excessive memory loss, hyperactivity, violent outbursts and other aggressive, irrational, or uncontrollable behaviors.
There are hundreds of rehab centers across the United States. Most of them advertise cocaine addiction treatment, but which do you choose? Choosing between the different cocaine rehab centers may be difficult if you have never been to rehab before. Fortunately there are a few things that will help you choose the cocaine rehab that….
If you have decided to change your life and seek out treatment for a drug or alcohol addiction, congratulations. You have begun the important process of becoming sober and that is a big deal. Sometimes, starting is the hardest part and that’s because you know so little when you get started. The first things you….
Overall, it’s up to the addict to decide on when or if he or she will make a commitment to his or her own recovery but there are some steps that loved ones can do to encourage the process. One of the most important steps that family members and friends of the addict should take is to….
The decisions you make in life will always have an impact on what happens next and when you decide to change your life for the better, you want to make the most out of those changes. Whether you have chosen the drug rehab for where you plan to go or not, there are some things….
The transgender community faces specific hurdles to sobriety and specific triggers for substance abuse that aren’t widespread among all communities. Given the high percentage of transgender people with a substance use disorder, treatment programs need to be attuned to these needs and meeting them with regularity. But, that isn’t the case. For a variety of….
So you’ve completed drug rehab—now what? Staying sober after drug rehab is not always as easy as you may think it will be. Sometimes it can be difficult to stay on track when you aren’t in a drug rehab center where everything revolves around recovery. So, when life goes back to normal and you’re on….
There are many types of rehab centers and almost anyone can benefit from one of those types. Rehab programs range from addiction treatment to rehabilitation for most mental and physical disorders. These benefits range depending on the specific type of rehab center you are entering. There are however some benefits that are common to all….
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, one of the best treatments for any type of addiction is therapy or counseling. Although honesty and trusting your therapist is a large part of counseling, there are some things that your therapist will not tell you. 1. Therapy is Hard Work Learning to live without the….
Alcohol addiction is one of the most, if not the most, difficult addictions for a person to overcome. Alcohol addiction requires treatment for most people. Fortunately, there are various types of alcohol rehab from which a person can choose. When a person develops an addiction to alcohol, which is the compulsive need to continually seek out….
Recently, the National Institute of Health announced that it will not pursue the proposed development of a single entity or institute that is devoted solely to addiction and substance abuse. This decision has many believing that the NIH is just not committed to making change and to stopping addiction in its tracks and this worries….