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Addiction among seniors

Recent years have seen older adults aged 50 above being admitted to alcohol and drug rehabilitation facilities alongside younger dependents. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration reported an increase in older adult admission statistics by 32 percent from 1995 to 2002. Such increase has roused the interest of several medical groups to further study substance abuse within the older chunk of the population. Interestingly, these studies found that alcohol and drug dependency among seniors is a highly underrated problem.

Wrong diagnosis

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The reason to why addiction among seniors is quite underrated is quite simple: Doctors and health professionals are continually making the wrong diagnosis regarding the symptoms of substance abuse in the older population. More often than not, the abuse is seen and treated as depression, especially given the negative situations that an older adult may experience, such as death of a spouse, relocation, isolation, etc. In most cases however, depression is just condition induced by the addiction.

Triggers of abuse

The most common reason as to why abuse is often mistaken for depression is because their causes are similar. While a number of the older dependents started taking alcohol or drugs in their younger years, most we're introduced to the substance later in their life. To those in the second group, substance abuse is a way of coping with drastic changes in their lives, such as loss of loved ones, retirement, and even physical changes that come with age. All these may also cause depression, as is the most common diagnosis made by doctors.

The most common substance abused by these older adults include alcohol and prescription drugs, most notably Valium and Xanax. Use of street drugs among the older population is quite low.

Special needs

Fortunately, there have been recent efforts from different sectors of society, including treatment centers, to address the problem of substance abuse among the older population more appropriately. The aim is to correctly identify dependency and to persuade more of these older dependents to enter rehabilitation facilities.

For their part, treatment centers are making adjustments to better accommodate older patients. They recognize that these people have special needs and require special treatment. More and more treatment centers are becoming friendlier to older adult patients.

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Posted in Cleaning Services Post Date 06/20/2018


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