There are three general conditions under which people 60 or older form addictions to drugs or alcohol.
1.) Boredom/Change in Lifestyle
After working for a lifetime, many people find that they become bored after retirement. This is especially true for men, who often define themselves by what they accomplished in their busy careers. Faced with the prospect of long days filled with inactivity, picking up a drug or drinking can seem like an easy way to escape.
Conversely, some people in early retirement enter a stage of celebration that can last for years, with wine and liquor flowing freely during this time. Drinks with dinner can progress to drinks with lunch . . . and then mimosas with breakfast.
2.) Chronic Pain Management
Because of health problems that occur as we age, many people find themselves on regular regimens of pain medications, relaxants or sleep aids to treat conditions such as arthritis, insomnia, gout and other medical issues. Consistent use of these drugs invariably leads to physical dependence, and physical dependence often leads to outright addiction. And because these medications are prescribed by doctors, few people suspect there is a problem until it is too late and addiction has already set in.
3.) Grief, Depression and Mourning
The later years of retirement can lead to significant issues with depression, loneliness and grief as companions, spouses, friends and associates begin to pass away. Family members may be estranged, absent or simply preoccupied with busy lives. All of these issues can cause a person to turn to drugs or alcohol in order to self-medicate the pain they cause.
In addition to these causes of addiction and alcoholism in people over the age of 60, some former addicts or alcoholics may return to their previous ways once they enter retirement; Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome can resurface at any time and without the proper management skills, disaster can occur.
Fortunately there are a number of options for elderly people who are suffering from addiction or alcoholism. These include:Interventions Inpatient Substance Abuse Treatment Outpatient Treatment Day/Night Treatment
If you’re recently retired and drugs or alcohol are beginning to play a prominent role in your life, you should call us right now. Addiction is a serious, progressive disease that can significantly reduce your life expectancy and the quality of your remaining years. Don’t let your golden years slip away – call for a free, confidential consultation right now.