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    Desert Hope is a beautiful oasis with modern charm located in Las Vegas, Nevada. We provide all levels of care from detox, in-patient, outpatient and sober living.

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The Challenges of Drug Rehab for Elderly Addicts

Clinical drug rehab is crucial for elderly people who suffer from addictions. Although many people fail to realize the prevalence of substance abuse among senior citizens, drug rehab facilities frequently treat the elderly for addiction to alcohol and prescription medications. Older people often suffer from a variety of ailments which make them especially susceptible to drug problems, and these pre-existing conditions can make treatment extremely difficult. Here are a few of the most common challenges which elderly addicts and their families face in seeking drug rehab.

Chronic Depression

Depression is one of the most common reasons why people use drugs and develop addictions. Elderly people who have lost friends and family members are particularly susceptible to depression, and they often abuse alcohol and prescription opiates to relieve their emotional distress. In fact, even seniors whose spouses still live and who maintain close ties with their children can still experience depressive thoughts. They may feel that they have nothing left to live for, or nothing new to look forward to.

Shrinking Social Circles

A supportive network of friends and relatives is one of the most crucial aspects of addicts’ recoveries. These networks are also frequently responsible for preventing people from developing addictions in the first place. Older people often find their social circles shrink as they advance in age – their friends die, their children grow up, and they stop meeting new people. Without healthy human connections to keep them happy and occupied, elderly people can easily slip into addictive behavior patterns.

Old Ways of Thinking

Medical professionals have only come to understand the neurological basis of addiction in the last few decades. Laypeople and doctors alike used to see alcoholism and drug addiction as matters of pure willpower, and society typically viewed addicts as lazy degenerates. Many people thus kept their drinking problems to themselves and continued active use well into their twilight years. It can be extremely difficult for today’s older alcoholics to accept that they have true diseases which require clinical treatment.

Too Much Time to Kill

Drug addiction almost always has devastating effects on suffers’ finances, careers, and family lives. These potential effects may keep many people from using drugs or drinking heavily in the first place. However, most people become less concerned with such responsibilities as they age. They retire, their children move out, and their incomes are relatively secure. The elderly often develop addictions even more readily than younger people because they have a great deal of time on their hands and perceive that they have less to lose.

Physical Pain

The elderly are known to experience a great deal of chronic physical pain. Even the healthiest and most active people will typically see degradation in their joints and muscles as they age. Senior citizens also tend to have weaker immune systems, and they more easily contract a myriad of diseases as they age. Because of these phenomena, many older people have easy access to legally-prescribed painkillers – drugs which their constant pain tempts them to abuse. Even those who don’t obtain prescription medicines can still fall victim to alcohol addiction as they attempt to relieve their pain.

If you or an elderly loved one is struggling with an addiction, call the number at the top of your screen now. We will formulate a powerful treatment plan that will allow you to truly enjoy the rest of your life. We’re standing by to provide help 24 hours per day, and we can assist you in taking action regardless of where you are located. But we can’t do anything if you don’t call, so pick up the phone and start the rest of your life right now.

About The Contributor
The editorial staff of Recovery First is comprised of addiction content experts from American Addiction Centers. Our editors and medical reviewers have over a decade of cumulative experience in medical content editing and have reviewed thousands... Read More