Older Adults – Years of drug abuse and addiction might be devastating for older adults. They are at that stage where they need good food, a healthy lifestyle, and peace, but with constant drug addiction, one will get anything but the above-mentioned things. As children, not everyone knows what their parents are up to or what the older grandparents are up to. Hence it becomes difficult to find out if there is a drug abuse scenario at home. Pick up on the signs of substance abuse in older adults can help the older adults a lot.
Most people, only young people, get addicted to drugs, but it is wrong, as older adults are highly vulnerable. The frequent drinks and drug abuse lead to big shot addiction, and as they are adults, no one knows in the family, especially the kids. Only after the kids grow up do they come across the hidden facts. Many factors influence older adults indulging in drugs and other substances.
What Drug is Most Commonly Abused by the OIder Adults?
Although, older adults use a lot of alcohol and binge on it. Alcohol seems to be the most commonly used substance abuse in older adults, but there are other drugs, too, like Opioids and benzodiazepines. These drugs are pretty rampant use by older adults as they give a high, making them forget the world. Although alcohol is
legally and socially acceptable, a severe impact when used obsessively. Also, alcohol is very cheap and readily available in the market without any identity proof or validity.
Opioids and benzodiazepines are sometimes even prescription drugs taken to keep anxiety, pain, or depression in control. But when it gets addicted badly, it starts its work as substance use. Doctors prescribe these drugs to cure specific ailments, but it becomes an addiction with constant use. These drugs give a certain high more like the other opioids like heroines, sedative benzodiazepines, etc.
Mixing opioids and benzodiazepines can be unsafe as it will sedate the users and suppress breathing, causing death. Unfortunately, there are many err times when the doctors prescribe a mixture of both to cure serious ailments, but it is also said to be taken in small quantities that are not harmful.
The Effects of Drug Abuse in Older Adults:
The substance abuse in older adults has different impacts on different beings. Some may take it casually; for some, the body doesn’t permit it; for example, alcohol and drugs impact aging brains. Consuming alcohol or drugs can have a very negative impact on the health of older adults. There are various studies on substance abuse in older adults where it states how it affects them badly as their metabolic rate is lower. Also, aging brains feel the effects of drugs more vaguely than younger ones.
Drug and alcohol abuse may seem okay in early life, but it becomes pretty hectic with age. This leads to several complications and maybe even death. So, one should be addiction-free at an older age, living a healthy and noncomplicated life. The problems faced by older adults are:
- Lung problems
- Heart problems
- Memory issues
- Mood disorders
- Impaired coordination in the body
- Sudden loss of interest in hobbies and activities
- Being a loner
- Memory loss
These effects are genuinely more grave than one can think. One needs to take utmost care before it becomes life-threatening. Adults are at the stage where it affects the brain and body vehemently, so curing is the most important thing.
What are the Treatments to overcome Drug Abuse in Older Adults?
Treatments of drug abuse in older adults are not accessible. With years of constant addiction, it becomes pretty impossible to leave the habit at once. But it is also essential to deal with the abuse as age doesn’t permit it. The family has a hand to lay in stopping substance abuse in older people. The treatment programs usually are Individual, group, or family therapy sessions. The therapist needs to focus on understanding the addiction, curing them drug-free, and preventing a relapse. The level of treatment depends on the addiction level, like the outpatient, residential, and inpatient programs.
Older adults need absolute love, care, and support, apart from professional treatment. The proper permission can lead the patient to a drug-free life and prevent any withdrawal symptoms.