Drug rehab is just as crucial for addicted seniors as it is for young people. In fact, the elderly encounter a variety of ailments and life circumstances which can make their recoveries especially difficult. They frequently suffer from depression, chronic physical pain, and other conditions which exacerbate addictive behaviors. They also tend to resist the kinds of life changes required for rehabilitation.
Still, it is crucial that elderly addicts overcome these problems and find professional help – clinical drug rehab is sometimes the only way for them to achieve sobriety and fully enjoy their later years. The following are some of the difficulties elderly people face in seeking drug addiction treatment and staying sober.
It is common for people to become deeply depressed as they enter old age. They may find little fulfillment in their lives after retiring from fast-paced or highly-involved careers. They may also feel that have little to live for as their children grow up and start families of their own. Finally, they may have far fewer close friends and family members to help them stay happy. Even if they have living spouses, the deaths of friends, siblings, cousins, and parents can be traumatic and painful.
Depression is one of the most common causes of addictive behaviors, and it is crucial that elderly addicts find things worth living for. New hobbies, volunteer work, and participation in community activities can help. Finding such sources of happiness is crucial for them to maintain sobriety after clinical treatment.
Changing Old Ways of Thinking
It is only in the last few decades that doctors have come to realize that addiction is a disease. Elderly addicts – especially alcoholics – may cling to old notions that drug problems are merely the results of low willpower or laziness. They may therefore be unwilling to admit to their problems and seek professional help. It is crucial that elderly people understand the neurological basis of addiction in order to accept the clinical treatments they need.
Involving Family Members
Seniors’ disconnections from their families often contribute to their drug problems. They may become depressed if their children and grandchildren move far away. They may also feel that without families to care for, drug abuse carries fewer consequences. Overall, elderly addicts’ families must become involved in their recovery processes. Just like younger addicts, they need the support of loved ones to make it through the difficulties of rehab and long-term recovery.
Dealing with Physical Problems
Prescription medications are some of the most commonly abused substances among elderly people. They often have easy access to opiates and other painkillers because of the chronic pain they experience as they grow older. Joint problems, muscular degradation, and compromised immune systems can make aging an extremely difficult process.
Still, elderly addicts must find healthy ways to deal with their physical problems in order to stay sober after clinical treatment. One of the best ways to do this is to make physical fitness a priority. Remaining physically active can help fight disease, and the right types of exercise can even alleviate joint and muscle pain. Also, a quality diet can help older people stay happy, energetic, and mentally alert – crucial for resisting drug cravings.
If you or an elderly person in your life is suffering from drug addiction, professional help is available. Call the number at the top of your screen to speak to someone right now, free of charge and completely confidentially. Because of the unique life circumstances of many elderly addicts or alcoholics, delaying getting help could come at a terrible cost. Don’t wait – call us right now.