Addiction treatment has risen in the over 50s age group. It is a real problem and often difficult to detect especially when it is drug addiction from medications prescribed from the doctor. When we hear about drug and alcohol addiction we don’t tend to think of the seniors. Pain killer addiction is described to be the hidden addiction.
Many of the seniors started drinking and using drugs before the age of 25 and continued over the years, which has lead to it becoming an addiction in their senior years.
When it comes to medication as we age there are a number of things that people get prescriptions for including insomnia, pain, anxiety and depression. Seniors don’t tend to use street drugs but a large number will use prescription drugs as mood altering drugs and like any drug or alcohol once they lose their initial affect they take more and more to get the desired effect.
One disabled senior that I know of had been getting prescriptions for many years for both herself and her husband. As well as taking the drugs, she had been stashing them away. Sometimes she would overdose herself, and more than once the paramedics would have to come to bring her out of the almost unconscious state.
Because she already had some serious medical issues the family thought that her passing out and other odd behaviors were related to her health condition. It was a very long time before the family realized what had been going on. They would never have considered the fact that their mother was actually addicted to the drugs and was overdosing. Had they realized sooner they could have got her the drug addiction counseling that she required.
Some seniors don’t become addicted until they are older. This is often brought on by various life changes. Some retired seniors get very lonely and use alcohol as their addiction. It is very easy for most seniors to drink alone at home and who would ever know. Health issues, the loss of a spouse, some even missing their work life and the social interaction with co-workers are all reasons that some seniors turn to alcohol.
Another big concern with addictions and seniors is gambling. Going to the casino can be a great distraction and a place where many seniors find some form of company. This is fine unless they become addicted to gambling and lose money that they cannot afford to lose.
An added problem for seniors abusing drugs and alcohol is that they age even faster. They can also lose their mental focus, and sometimes the ability to remain living independently way faster than needs be.
With proper intervention many seniors could do well and get their life back on track. First the problem has to be recognized and then it’s time to get help for recovery from Addiction.
Families need to become more aware of the problem of addiction in seniors so that they can help their parent, sibling or friend.
Author Bio: Shirley Price is a Life coach and trained in NLP, Solution focused counseling and EFT. She is the publisher of www.lifebydesignover50.com She is located on Vancouver, Canada.