Over 50s-Senior’s with Addictions.

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 Over 50 seniors with addictionshear 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.

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  1. We know that alcoholism is a disease, but it is also important to acknowledge that it is a symptom of someone who may be attempting to kill themselves. The individual is showing signs of very self-destructive behaviour. Alcoholics drink due to the fact that when they are imbibing is the one time the believe they are actually happy and able to (for the moment) set aside their worries. However when someones drunk, they aren’t in control of themselves, and alcoholics don’t have the cognitive functions to fight off their suicidal thoughts. In too many instances, such events result in attempted suicide.This is so bad that 1/3 of all people who killed themselves had alcohol in their system at the time of their death.

  2. Timeless info. I can’t tell you how often we discuss topics like this in group. If drunks are seekers why are they so lost. And if they are just hiding, why do they always get found.

  3. We just discussed this last night in group. Everytime someone relapses, which is all to frequently, we have to go over what happened and devise tactics to defeat it next time. Sometimes that means re-visiting the basics and sometimes it gets a lot more complicated. Anyway, thanks for sharing.

  4. One of the biggest problems my group has isn’t convincing folks that they have a problem. It’s convincing them to address the biggest one first and then deal with the other stuff. Nobody seems to want to do that. Everyone wants a reason or an excuse. They want to worry about the big bruise on their arm when there leg is cut off and they are bleeding out.

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