Unfortunately, there are millions of aging and addicted senior citizens in our nation. Drug and alcohol addiction has become an expansive and all-encompassing problem in American society. The issue creates different problems of the substance abuse epidemic that is now so prevalent that Americans of all ages, demographics, ethnicities, income levels, origins, and backgrounds are falling prey to drug and alcohol addiction. Sadly, senior citizens are particularly vulnerable to addictions due to loneliness or poor health.
Substance abuse is now a widespread issue for the elderly. Senior citizens are as immensely affected by this problem as are young adults. However, this aging and addicted crisis with senior citizens goes undetected. Prescription drug abuse is the most elusive and disturbing of all addictions because it denotes addiction to a substance that is entirely legal. For this reason, a large percentage of senior citizens are currently aging and addicted to the medicines that are supposed to be helping them.
Statistics on the Aging and Addicted
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention teamed up with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to get a better handle on just how dangerous and severe this issue is. Unfortunately, the grim results in the U.S. are as follows:
- 17 percent of people over 65 years old abuse prescription medications.
- 10 percent of people are addicts because of dependency to their medicine.
- 30 percent of adults over 65 are taking a prescription medication.
- 2.5 million older adults with alcohol or drug problem, out of 25 million total addicts in the nation.
- One out of every ten users in the United States is over the age of 65.
- Six to eleven percent of elderly hospital admissions are a result of alcohol or drug problems.
- 14 percent of elderly emergency room admissions, and 20 percent of elderly psychiatric hospital admissions.
- Widowers over the age of 75 have the highest rate of alcoholism in the U.S. by far.
- 50 percent of nursing home residents have alcohol-related problems to one degree or another.
- Seniors are treated for alcohol-related problems as often as they are for heart attacks, revealing a startling prevalence of alcohol abuse amongst older adults.
Nearly 17 million prescriptions for tranquilizers are prescribed for older adults each and every year. Benzodiazepines, a powerful and highly addictive tranquilizer, are the most commonly misused and abused prescription medications. With so many older adults taking a long list of drugs daily, it is no wonder that aging and addiction go hand-in-hand in many cases.
It’s Never too Late to Seek Out Rehabilitation
Drug and alcohol addiction rehabilitation is the best chance that any senior citizen or senior has at beating a substance abuse habit. Drug and alcohol substance abuse and drug abuse is a dangerous crisis indeed. It has affected millions and millions of senior Americans. They need special help and care to win against these habits.
Older adults will benefit most in an inpatient rehabilitation facility. In fact, these programs offer by far the best services available, and they can give seniors the care, attention, and help that they need to beat their addiction problems for good. Aging and addicted does not have to be a common issue any longer.