Yes. In the United States, it’s a serious, growing problem. In 2005, 184,400 Americans who were admitted to drug rehab programs — 10% of the total — were over 50-years-old, up from 143,000, or 8% of the total, four years earlier. The federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, which released the figures, expects 4.4 million older substance abusers by 2020.
Here are some traits of these senior citizen addicts: Alcohol abuse is the dominant problem, though prescription drug abuse is rising fast. Alcohol rehab is desperately needed for many in this age group. Older adults are harder to lure into treatment, in part because of a generational reluctance to airing one’s dirty laundry in public. Interventions may be necessary to get some seniors into alcohol rehab or drug rehab. Once in treatment, senior citizens are often highly motivated and are more likely to complete a program. Some types of drug abuse, such as use of street drugs like crack and heroin, are less common among older adults. Many senior citizen addicts do best in a treatment program that is focused on older adults.
The behavior of older addicts is different than a teenaged or even middle-aged user. Seniors are not as likely to curse at one another, raise their voices in anger or blast music past midnight. Not only are seniors less likely to exhibit such behavior, they often prefer not to be around others who act this way. This is why senior-specific treatment programs are so important — they surround recovering addicts with others that they can relate to, making group-therapy sessions much more productive.
Life moves fast. Sometimes the days we have on this earth seem like many, but they’re gone before we know it. Don’t let your last days — or those of your loved ones — be filled with the blackouts, self-doubt and depression that come from addiction.
If you are a senior citizen that is suffering from any type of substance abuse, Above It All Treatment Center can help you with a program that is designed with you in mind. Contact us today and see how we can help you.