Baby Boomers and seniors are the fastest-growing sectors of American society. Currently one in eight Americans is 60 and over, but one in three will be 60+ by 2030. The first wave of baby boomers will turn 60 over the next decade. For the first time, there will be more people 65 and older – than age 14 and under in the United States.
How to Get Help for Senior Substance Use Disorder and Problem Drinking, Chronic Alcoholism
According to the NCBI in 1998, substance abuse – particularly of alcohol and prescription drugs – among adults 60 and older is one of the fastest growing health problems facing the country.
Yet, even as the number of older adults suffering from these disorders climbs, the situation remains underestimated, under-identified, under-diagnosed, and under-treated. Until relatively recently, alcohol and prescription drug misuse, which affects up to 17 percent of older adults, was not discussed in either the substance abuse or the gerontological literature. From theNational Center for Biotechnology Information NCBI,Substance Abuse Among Older Adults: An Invisible Epidemic.
Senior Adult Prescription Drug Use
The number of people over 65 taking three or more prescription drugs increased from about 1/3 in 1988 to almost 1/2 in 2000.
Drug misuse and abuse in the elderly is of special concern because it can cause cognitive and physical impairment; which puts this population at greater risk for falls, motor vehicle accidents; and making them generally less able to care for their daily needs.
Senior Adult Prescription Drug Misuse
According to an August 2017 AARP Report, the number of seniors misusing prescription drugs (use of prescription drugs in a way a doctor did not direct) has increased in recent years.
Public awareness of prescription drug misuse and abuse has grown in tandem with these problems. There is strong bipartisan support for addressing prescription drug abuse with many federal and state efforts underway to help prevent middle aged and senior opioid abuse; and improve access to treatment.
However, few prevention efforts focus on older adults – whose unique characteristics may demand different or more nuanced solutions to these problems.
• The elderly are more likely to be prescribed several different medications at once; and for a prolonged duration of time. • Screening for senior drug abuse can be complicated. Symptoms can be masked by normal or perceived signs of aging. • Seniors may deny symptoms of drug abuse; and may be unaware of their misuse. • The elderly do not fit the typical drug abuser profile or stereotype and therefore awareness and services for this population are lacking. • Family members are more likely to overlook senior prescription drug abuse. (“But it helps Grandma get through the day!”).
Senior Adult Depression, Health Issues and Problem Drinking
Older adults (including baby boomers) experiencing multiple chronic health conditions and depression are nearly ﬁve times as likely to be problem drinkers as older adults with the same conditions and no depression.
Among problem drinkers, or individuals who reported a high amount of negative consequences associated with alcohol use, the researchers found that more than half—66 percent—reported having multiple chronic health conditions, or MCC.
With integrated treatment, practitioners can address mental and substance use disorders at the same time; often lowering costs and creating better outcomes. Increasing awareness and building capacity in service systems are important in helping identify and treat co-occurring disorders. Early detection and treatment can improve treatment outcomes and the quality of life for those who need these services.
When appropriately prescribed, administered and monitored, medications are a cost-effective way to help older adults maintain health, recover from illness or control symptoms of chronic disease. Older adults can live stronger, longer by carefully following their doctor’s and pharmacist’s instructions regarding medications.
People age 65 and older make up 12 percent of the U.S. population, but account for 34 percent of all prescription medication use and 30 percent of all over-the-counter medication use.
Because older adults often take numerous medications prescribed by multiple health care providers, their risk of having an adverse reaction is greater than that of younger adults.
Among older adults, adverse reactions due to medication can be very serious, including falls, depression, confusion, hallucinations and malnutrition.
Nearly one in four older adults skips doses of medication or does not fill prescriptions because of cost.
Memory impairment and sensory changes such as vision loss that often occur among older adults can create challenges for correctly adhering to complex medication regimens.
According to researchers, about 60 percent of older adults take their prescriptions improperly; and approximately 140,000 die each year as a result.
We use an integrated multi-disciplinary addiction treatment approach implemented by licensed professionals. The Arrowhead Lodge Recovery Staff includes a Physician-Addictionologist, Addiction Psychiatrist, Physician Board Certified in Pain Medicine, Doctor of Clinical Psychology, Registered Nurse, several Licensed Therapists, and an addiction Nutritionist.
We assist our clients in finding their personal connection to the spiritual. Through years of experience, we believe in the power of spirituality in the addiction healing process. We assist our clients in discovering their unique path to living a more authentic and joyful life.
Our addiction recovery programs treat the whole person and include Mindfulness for recovery and relapse prevention.
Impaired Professionals Well-Being Program and EAP Programs