When it comes to drug addiction treatment, there are a lot of stages one must go through for attaining true sobriety. The recovering individual will typically have to undergo detoxification, therapy, and counseling in inpatient or outpatient care and a host of other programs. However, what happens to the older generation? Please note that “older” here means people above the age of 60 who are currently intending to or need to enter rehabilitation care. What are the care options available to this set of individuals, if any?
The Extent of Substance Abuse in Older People
Before we dive right into the forms of addiction recovery care open to this demographic, it may be helpful to discuss facts on its occurrence. According to a 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, almost a million adults aged 65 and over live with a substance use disorder. Putting this in context translates to about one in fifty older adults who have been diagnosed with chemical dependency.
Substance Misuse Among The Elderly Population
The social and physical changes that come with aging are at the fore of possible reasons for substance misuse amongst the elderly population. The separation from or loss of a loved one, having to live alone or far from relatives, tiredness, and reduced energy for activities are some of the changes that occur with older people. While these changes do not always spur substance misuse, for some individuals, mental health challenges that come with the territory are triggers to use drugs or alcohol. As may be suspected, prescription medicines top the list for most likely to be misused in the older generation. Typically, these medications were administered to cope with health conditions that may deteriorate with aging. Sadly, many of these medicines have a high potential for being addictive and frequently do become so, as is notably observed with opioids given for pain relief.
Specific Addiction Treatment for Older People
The good news is that several addiction recovery centers all over the country cater exclusively to the unique needs of the elderly. In some of these facilities, younger adults and teens may also receive treatment with the elderly to create a bonding opportunity for all participants. For the best model of care, medical research has recommended longer durations in treatment. Also, any underlying health condition must be managed effectively in recovery treatment to preserve the overall health of the older recovering individual.
More About Addiction Treatment Programs for Older Adults
Case management is highly essential as a part of the recovery treatment package for these individuals. The benefit lies in having them focused entirely on their healing plan instead of worrying about all other issues a case manager can adequately handle. The rehab program must be medication-assisted, especially during detoxification. If done without, withdrawal symptoms concurrent with detox may critically hamper the older adult’s health. These drugs to be used must be FDA-approved and appropriate for the individual in question. Due to the unique condition presented by every recovering individual, personalized care is non-debatable, more so for the older ones. As earlier indicated, group treatments will help reduce feelings of isolation and rebuild support networks for the elderly folks. Drug misuse is not uncommon in the elderly, and treatment options must be particular if they must be effectual. Also, expanding the knowledge about older-adult chemical dependencies may be well helpful in conducting interventions to offer timely recovery care before it becomes too late. Are you or a loved one an adult struggling with drug addiction, give us a call today, and we will be happy to help you get out of it?
Specific Drug Addiction Treatment for The Elderly Population at Evoke Wellness at Miramar
As a first step, offer your older loved one support and seek professional guidance. Drug misuse is not a sign of poor judgment or disruptive behavior. Many people use drugs to cope with their feelings. Some people use drugs for experimentation reasons. Either situation will benefit from expert input to you and your family member about the most helpful therapy and treatment. The answer is a phone call away. Do not let drug use become a death sentence overnight. We have helped thousands of families end drug use and addiction quickly.