Find Local Treatment Options
Call 800-481-6320 to speak with an alcohol or drug abuse counselor.Who Answers?

Recognizing Prescription Drug Abuse in Seniors

elderly drug abuse

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.
  • Overdose

More Rehab Centers Resources

Common Challenges Faced in Rehab

Everybody faces challenges in their lifetime, but, what’s important is how they face those challenges and overcome them to the best of their ability. Although treatment, support, strategic coping skills, and behavioral changes are needed to overcome drug abuse and addiction, in many cases, the stigma or fear of changes attached to rehab far outweigh….

Continue reading

The Dangers of Stress & When to Seek Help

Nowadays, most everyone experiences stress in their daily life in one form or another. Be it work, relationships or finances, today’s fast-paced world makes occasional, and even extended periods of stress impossible to avoid. Overall, stress can be a good thing when dealt with in healthy ways; however, prolonged or chronic stressors can compromise a….

Continue reading

Can Adolescents Attend Inpatient Treatment for Drug Addiction?

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse for Teens, “Residential treatment [or inpatient treatment] is a resource-intense high level of care, generally for adolescents with severe levels of addiction whose mental health and medical needs and addictive behaviors require a 24-hour structured environment to make recovery possible.” While not all adolescents need this level….

Continue reading

Addiction and Homelessness: Interconnected Battles

When it comes to abusing drugs and alcohol, the consequences can be extreme. There are legal ramifications, damage to family relationships, and issues that arise at work. But a common occurrence that doesn’t get a lot of light shined on it is the relationship between addiction and homelessness. Stability Is Hard for Addicted Individuals Homelessness….

Continue reading

Family Support in Rehab

Addiction to drugs or alcohol doesn’t merely impact the user, the entire family system is negatively impacted by a loved one’s decision to abuse harmful substances. When a family member is suffering from addiction, the entire family suffers together. Not only have studies found that children of addicted parents are more likely to become addicts….

Continue reading

Teen Drug Abuse Trends

Teen drug abuse need to stop!

In the past 10 years, teen drug abuse has seen significant increased and some minor decreases along the way. Unfortunately, the number of teens who are now using dangerous drugs is seeing an all-time high that has not been reached in the prior 20 years. Teens today aren’t just experimenting with pot or alcohol, today’s teen drug….

Continue reading

Maintaining Sobriety After Alcohol Rehab

tips for sobriety

For many people, alcohol rehab marks a turning point in their lives. During treatment, a person unlearns destructive, addiction-based behaviors and replaces them with healthy ways of thinking and interacting in the world. After completing alcohol rehab, those in recovery must learn to navigate around the people, places and things that trigger old drinking behaviors…..

Continue reading

Still can't find the help you are looking for?Get Started Now
Accepted Insurances / View the full list
For inquiries call 800-481-6320 Who Answers?

Accepted Insurances Does My Insurance
Cover This?

Where do calls go?

Calls to numbers on a specific treatment center listing will be routed to that treatment center. Additional calls will also be forwarded and returned by a quality treatment center within the USA.

Calls to any general helpline (non-facility specific 1-8XX numbers) for your visit will be answered by a licensed drug and alcohol rehab facility, a paid advertiser on RehabCenters.com.

All calls are private and confidential.

I NEED TO TALK TO SOMEONE NOWI NEED TO TALK TO SOMEONE NOW800-481-6320
Who Answers?

Pin It on Pinterest

Shares