Addiction is a disease which has absolutely no care about who it harms. It does not care what gender you are, what nation you come from, what economic class you fall into, or what your age is – it will still take everything you have to give and leave you with nothing. When addiction hits those who are most vulnerable, that is when addiction tends to unite people the most to try and help.
Elderly Addiction Happens Quite Often
In order to understand how widespread elderly addiction is, you need to look at the stats. Right now, there are more than 30 million people living in the United States aged 65 or older. From that population, about 17% of them are abusing drugs in some form, typically prescription drugs, and with current trends, many researchers are expecting this number to double by the time 2020 comes around. That is how many people are currently facing some type of addiction in their golden years, so if you think it cannot happen to someone you care about, you could very well be wrong.
Treating Elderly Addiction
Elderly addiction needs to be treated differently than addiction in teens or adulthood. You cannot simply put an elderly member of society in a room with teenagers and expect them to get the same results as the teenager. You need to treat them differently. Their reasoning for abusing drugs is often quite different than at any other stage of life, including:
Not having the money to pay for drugs the normal way, so they abused the medication of someone else for the results.
They have lost all of the people close to them and are either depressed due to having no companionship, or they want to join those they lost in death.
They do not have a good reason in their own mind to avoid drinking or abusing drugs.
They never meant to get addicted to drugs, but they forgot if they had taken their medication some of the time and ended up taking more than necessary, leading to an unintentional addiction.
When you look at the life of an elderly person, a simple mistake could be the reason that they are now suffering from an addiction. Forgetfulness is common as we age, so taking medications in excess can happen. The problem is, addiction does not care if you meant to take too much or not; it will hold on for dear life no matter what.
We Can Help
Not all treatment centers are able to take care of elderly patients. When most elderly patients come in with secondary medical conditions that need to be tended to along with an addiction, this requires specialized medical care. A typical rehab does not have the capabilities of helping in this situation.
Instead of living in fear, know that there is help out there. It does not matter what age you are trying to seek treatment, getting it now is better than waiting. Life does get better, and there is help out there to give you the healing you deserve. Don’t wait another day. Your life is on the line with each time you drink, take a pill, or abuse a drug. Your life is worth far more than you may realize, and you are not alone in your struggle. Come see us and let us help hold your hand as you begin your journey to recovery.