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Substance Abuse Disorder Among the Elderly

Rehab For SeniorsSubstance abuse disorder among the elderly is usually divided into two classifications. Some have been abusing drugs or alcohol for most of their lives. There is another group that turns to substances later in life. Both conditions are important to recognize, as addictions or substance abuse disorders can remain hidden for a long time. They can also be very hard to diagnose, so many doctors miss them. Addiction rehab for senior citizens is there to assist older adults in overcoming addiction challenges.

If you need help for a loved one who is a senior with substance abuse disorder, Northpoint Recovery is here for you. We know how hard it is to watch someone you love decline so rapidly. To know that alcohol or drugs are to blame can break your heart. Our senior rehab program in Boise, Idaho, can help them find the healing and recovery they deserve. Call us today at 888.296.8976 to learn more about drug and alcohol rehab for seniors.

Seniors and Drug and Alcohol Use

There are many different reasons senior citizens may turn to drugs and alcohol. Seniors may turn to substances after going through difficult situations or life changes, such as:

  • Retirement from Their Jobs
  • Stress from the Death of a Loved One
  • Financial Problems
  • Relocation into a Nursing Home
  • Conflicts with Family Members
  • Various Health Disparities
  • Mental Health Issues

Senior citizens are much more susceptible to substances than others are. Their bodies do not have the same ability to metabolize drugs or alcohol quickly. Additionally, they are much more sensitive to them than when they were younger. 

There is also the genuine danger of drug interaction, where one drug negatively reacts with another drug. This can put seniors’ lives at risk if they are unaware of drug interactions and continue using them.

The Challenge of Diagnosing Substance Abuse Disorder Among the Elderly

There are two different types of substances that elderly individuals commonly abuse: alcohol and prescription drugs. It can be extremely challenging to diagnose a substance abuse disorder in an older person, which is why many doctors may miss it. Why is it more difficult to detect substance abuse in seniors?

As people age, they can experience serious medical problems and mental health issues with symptoms that overlap with addiction. They may suffer from problems like:

  • Diabetes
  • Kidney disease
  • Heart problems
  • Depression
  • Dementia

Drug and alcohol abuse symptoms can mimic symptoms of these health conditions, making it easy to overlook the potential for addiction. Doctors or family members may assume that declining mental or physical health is the reason behind a diagnosis.

How to Know If You or a Loved One Needs Addiction Rehab for Senior Citizens

It is essential to recognize the signs of substance use disorder in yourself or a beloved senior. Seniors do not always know if they have an addiction. This can be just as confusing for concerned family members who worry about their welfare. Answering the following questions can help:

  • Do you currently use a higher amount of drugs or alcohol than you did initially?
  • Do you feel that using substances enables you to cope with various issues?
  • Do you think substance use has become a part of your daily life?
  • Are you having health-related problems that could be related to your substance use?
  • Is it hard for you to imagine a life without using drugs or alcohol?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you might be dealing with addiction. Contact your local addiction rehab for senior citizens to get a proper assessment.

Barriers to Addiction Treatment for the Elderly

There are many barriers to substance abuse treatment that often occur for senior citizens. Even if they desire to heal and recover, they may find it challenging to get the help they need. This is usually because:

  • They do not have adequate transportation. Many senior citizens can no longer drive, keeping them from seeking help. 
  • They do not have social support. They may have few friends to support them during the recovery process as they get older.
  • They may feel they do not have time. Older adults are often called upon to offer childcare for grandchildren while their children work. They may also have other obligations, keeping them from getting help.
  • They may not be aware of appropriate programs. There are not many substance abuse programs specializing in caring for the elderly. These can be very hard to find, serving as a barrier.
  • They may not be able to afford it. Most senior citizens have health insurance for addiction treatment. However, they may not realize they have coverage and deem treatment unaffordable.

These barriers present genuine challenges for older people. However, you or a loved one can overcome these challenges by speaking with a senior rehab center about your issues.

The Benefits of Drug and Alcohol Rehab for Seniors

Drug and alcohol treatment has many benefits for senior citizens, including:

  • Having the opportunity to get specialized treatment for their drug or alcohol abuse problems
  • Being able to learn more about substance abuse and how it affects them
  • Being able to meet with their families to repair and improve their relationships
  • Getting to the heart of the problem behind the addiction so that healing can take place
  • Preparing them for life after treatment is over
  • Putting specific measures in place to help them avoid a relapse
  • Meeting others with substance abuse problems and gaining support and encouragement from them

The outlook for senior citizens with substance abuse disorders is very good. As long as the right treatment is implemented, you can recover and make your remaining years more fulfilling. You may even find this one of the most rewarding experiences of your life.

Overcome Addiction at Northpoint Recovery’s Senior Rehab in Boise, Idaho

Whether you are a senior with substance abuse disorder or have an elderly loved one whom you suspect is abusing drugs or alcohol, it is important to choose the right addiction rehab for senior citizens. At Northpoint Recovery, we offer specialized programs for seniors struggling with addiction. By providing you with targeted treatment, we can address your unique needs. Are you interested in learning more about Northpoint Recovery’s senior rehab center in Boise, Idaho? We are eager to answer any additional questions you might have for us. Please contact us right away at 888.296.8976.