The growing problem of substance abuse and addiction among seniors
Surprisingly, one of the fastest growing concerns and serious public health threats in the US today is substance abuse and dependency among seniors and older adults. As a result of people living longer today, more individuals are abusing drugs and developing substance dependencies once they have reached their “golden years” or retirement. In many cases, this results because so many elderly individuals are prescribed a number of medications that can be powerfully addictive if they are not monitored properly by the physician.
Recent census statistics indicate that there are now 35 million individuals in the US that have reached the age of 65 or are older. About 17% of this specific population is affected by misusing prescription drugs and substance abuse among individuals who are 60 years old or older. It is currently estimated that by the year 2020, this number of seniors/older adults that develop dependencies by misusing their prescriptions will double.
Overall, older males have more substance abuse issues than older females do even though older women are more likely to turn to alcohol than older men are. Substance abuse tends to be more prevalent among individuals who have suffered recent losses such as the death of a loved one, loss of health, or retirement. Additionally, it is far more likely that women will be divorced or widowed and will start experiencing depression in their later years.
As a result, they will be prescribed certain psychoactive medications to treat these issues while they continue to consume alcohol as an escape from their suffering. The harsh reality is that the majority of the health care providers today either ignore or overlook substance abuse among the elderly because they are not sure what they need to be looking for or they make the false assumption that they cannot be treated successfully.
We can help seniors/older adults with substance dependency issues
Our drug addiction referral site – The Rehab Advisor – was designed and developed to assist individuals of any age with their substance abuse and dependency issues. We have listed the most successful seniors or older adults addiction treatment and recovery programs in all 50 states and can easily refer you into one that is nearby. However, if you prefer to enter a program that is located out of your state, we can help you with that as well. It is our goal to see that every client returns to society and lives substance-free for the rest of their lives.
If you or a loved one needs our help, we encourage you to contact us immediately. We are available to assist you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year.