SOME UNNERVING FACTS ABOUT DRUG ABUSE IN OLDER ADULTS
Prescription drugs have been proven to be something of a double-edged sword in our country, particularly with the onset of the Opioid Crisis and the legalization of medical marijuana in several U.S. States. Recent statistics also show that a staggering 20% of people (ranging from 12 years and older) suffer from a form of prescription drug abuse during their lives. Besides the young generation, however, we must also turn our eyes to the elder adult community, a group that is placed at a great risk for developing problems related to drug abuse. So why is this problem so severe? Let’s take a closer look at the source and find out.
A Look at Prescription Drug Abuse
Prescription drug abuse occurs when someone uses a medication (more specifically, a control substance) for alternative reasons (e.g. achieving a “high,” or escaping a stressful situation). This process also takes place when patients attempt to mix alcoholic beverages with their prescription drugs. Some of the most commonly abused drugs include opioids, stimulants, and CNS depressants. As a result of mixing substances, people can experience adverse side effects or (in the worst case scenario) die. Likewise, drug abuse could potentially lead to addictive tendencies.
How Older Adults Can Fall Victim to Drug Abuse
Overall, older adults can easily fall victim to drug abuse given the fact that they are exposed to so many forms of medications at this stage of their life. Doctors will often prescribe potentially addictive substances like opioids for pain management therapy and benzodiazepines to block anxiety. As the body ages, it can no longer filter out toxic substances the way it used to, resulting in a potentially higher risk for dependency.
According to statistics collected by SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration), an average of 3 to 10 individuals (falling in the range of 57 to 85 years of age) use approximately 5 different prescription medications. Medical professionals argue that another primary reason abuse is so hard to identify in older adults is that side effects and behavioral patterns are (at times) similar to the signs of aging (e.g. memory loss and confusion).
Always remember that drugs do not have control over your life. You do. Are you suffering from a form of drug addiction? Do you have a friend or family member suffering from one or more of these debilitating illnesses? If you do, get in touch with Asana Recovery today. Our counselors and healthcare, experts are ready to walk you through every step of the detox and withdrawal process and rehabilitation and guide you towards living a happier, healthier, and freer lifestyle. While the road to recovery might not be an easy road to travel, we promise to help you every step of the way. Take the first step to stay fit, healthy, and safe.
The time for you to take back control of your life is now. If you are interested in one of our residential treatment or supervised detoxification/withdrawal programs, we are ready and waiting to speak with you at your disclosure. Call Asana now at (949) 438-4504 to learn how to overcome your drug abuse or addiction troubles today.