The Problem Of Elderly Substance Abuse

1490 Words Jul 11th, 2016 6 Pages
People are often surprised to learn that elderly people abuse drugs and alcohol at extremely high rates. In fact, elderly substance abuse has become something of an unknown epidemic in the country, impacting an ever-increasing number of people. Sadly, this problem is often ignored or misunderstood and elderly people with addictions rarely get the help they need.

Hopefully this problem changes for the good before it changes for the bad. Until then, it 's worth knowing more about it, including the severity of its impact and where it originates. In this way, you can make an informed decision on treatment, whether for yourself or a loved one.

The Impact Is Shockingly Huge
Elderly addiction is a complex problem and one that has devastated a large part of the population. For example, a survey in 2008 found that 40 percent of all elderly people (defined as 65 or older) regularly drank alcohol. The people in this group were more likely to take high levels of medication (to treat problems caused by addiction) and to drink heavily on a regular basis. The truth is, elderly people should have no more than seven drinks a week or three in a single day.

Another troubling statistic is the number of elderly people abusing prescription drugs. Though the exact percentage is hard to calculate (due to how infrequently cases are reported), elderly people account for more than one-third of all prescription drug use in the country. Many of these prescription drugs are pain medicines, which are…
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