The Little Known Phenomenon of Elder Substance Abuse
Few of us would imagine that senior citizens have significant substance abuse problems. It’s like imagining your priest or pastor is a drug addict. It just doesn’t seem possible.
Yet in 2015, studies show that substance abuse among the elderly is on the rise. From an article by Dr. Rick Nauert, “Researchers say that close to three million Americans aged 55 and older suffer from alcohol abuse—and this figure is expected to reach nearly six million by 2020.” That’s a fairly large portion of the population!
What could be causing this growing problem? Some events that occur in later life are hard to be emotionally prepared for. Leaving a successful career behind can be an especially difficult prospect for many. On top of that, losing loved ones can be a huge factor.
Alcohol is the most often abused drug among the elderly, but it’s definitely not the only cause for concern. Prescription drug abuse has doubled since 2002 among the elderly, which shows that they are keeping pace with the rest of the population in addiction to prescription opiate painkillers.
Early Retirement May Lead to Addiction
Are there any trends or patterns among people retiring that can predict substance abuse? While predicting substance abuse may not be possible, there was circumstance that researchers found to be associated with higher substance abuse. People who chose to take an early retirement because of a negative situation with their company often ended up feeling the least satisfied, and were the most likely to turn to the bottle for comfort.
Information for Seniors and Their Families
The good news for seniors is substance abuse treatment can be effective and addiction doesn’t have to rule the rest of their lives. Getting more information about addiction can be the best way to gain perspective. Contact Serenity House Detox today for more information on senior citizen addiction, and substance abuse treatment.