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.
The decision to seek treatment at a drug rehab center can be life saving, finding the right drug rehab center to provide that treatment is dire. Drug rehab centers provide a safe place for those suffering from addiction to recover and begin to learn new life skills to maintain long term sobriety. There is no….
When you are about to enter a rehab center, you have a lot on your mind. You have employment issues. Your relationships are compromised. You may have legal problems. You are juggling a number of concerns and it is all you can do just to get into the rehab center and start the process. One….
As you compare inpatient and outpatient rehab facilities, you will learn about the pros and cons of both types.There are many reasons why a growing number of people are choosing a live in rehab facility. Before we get into the five top reasons for this decision, there is something you need to know: these types….
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, addiction is an extremely complicated illness. To treat it, rehab centers help people by providing a variety of both medical and nonmedical services. Many use the latest treatments to push people past addiction into recovery. When considering a rehab it is important to remember the ways that….
Being pregnant is always a little scary, but when you’re addicted to drugs and alcohol and pregnant, it can feel overwhelming. You don’t want to hurt the baby, but there’s so much conflicting information out there, it can be hard to know what to do. With some states now passing laws that allow prosecution of….
Visiting your friend, family member, or loved on in rehab is a wonderful way to show them you support their journey to recovery and their decision to find treatment for their addiction. Many people, though, aren’t sure what to talk about when they actually make the trip to the rehab center to see their friend…..
One of the best things you can do to help prepare yourself to become a patient at a rehab clinic is to tour the facility first. This will allow you to find out if the center will be beneficial to your recovery and if you will be comfortable receiving treatment there. But it is important….
The teenage years can be one of the most difficult periods in a person’s life. Teens struggling with alcohol and drug abuse issues have an especially hard time finding their way. Watching a teen fade away while addiction takes over his or her personality can quickly drain the life out of a family. According to….
Are you addicted to drugs or alcohol and considering seeking help at a rehab center but afraid that you will be frowned upon, laughed at or that you won’t fit in? Have you ever heard the phrase, addiction is not prejudice? The same way that you can assure that addiction is not prejudice, you can….
So it’s time to go to rehab? You probably have a ton of things on your mind. You might be really concerned about whether or not you can do this. That is usually the primary concerns. But, another biggie is whether or not the facility you have chosen is the right one for you. Maybe….