It’s never too late to start over. Addiction recovery is always possible.
Drug and alcohol abuse is an epidemic affecting hundreds of thousands of Americans each day. With overdose now the leading cause of death for older adults, it’s more important than ever to recognize when substance abuse has become a problem and seek help. Unfortunately, social stigmas, misinformation, and general distrust of the recovery industry leave many people vulnerable to the tragic and potentially fatal consequences of substance abuse.
Older adults and seniors suffering from chronic substance use disorders aren’t getting the treatment they need to recover.
Without proper medical and psychiatric attention, severe substance use disorders will potentially shorten one’s lifespan.
Getting professional addiction treatment is the only way to ensure the physical and mental well-being of older adults.
Older adults are in a precarious stage of life, especially when spouses, parents, and loved ones begin passing away. In fact, this is one of the leading causes of self-medication sorely underreported among the population.
When entering late adulthood, one may find their independence fleeting and feel sorely isolated from the life they once had. This depression hastily ensues— and complicates— already present mental health disorders, or gives rise to one (or several— depending on the circumstances).
Loss of mobility, one’s home, and familiar surroundings (if placed in a living facility for older people) is the catalyst for mass unrest within this population. Opioid painkillers and other opiate-based medications then become a way for older adults to momentarily numb themselves to both internal and external pain.
Without psychiatric support or frequent and meaningful interaction with family and friends, addiction is allowed to spiral out of control— and grows worse with continually refilling prescriptions. Other factors of abuse include divorce and empty nest syndrome.
Perhaps the most heartbreaking part of addiction among older adult populations is a loss of hope. There is a pervasive stigma surrounding older populations that it is “too late” to receive treatment for chronic substance use disorders.
Thankfully, it’s never too late to get treatment!
Programs designed specifically to target unique problems among older adults have been created across the entire country to help combat nationally rising rates of fatal opiate overdoses. Continual support, medical care, and psychiatric treatment are necessary for recovery, and there are no bars on age as to their effectiveness for sobriety!
Shame is another governing factor preventing older adults from seeking treatment.
We’re here to tell you addiction is a legitimate, measurable disease.
There is no shame in seeking help. It’s never too late.
Akin to adolescent treatment for addiction, addiction treatment for older adults focuses on helping people aged 50+ learn to transition into their unique facet of life.
Cognitive behavioral therapeutic approaches will tackle topics such as:
Alike teens tackling puberty, older adults are in a unique echelon of life and sometimes need help learning to manage the new tides of life.
These problems are typically the root of one’s substance use disorder and thereby become one of the main facets of treatment.