Substance Abuse In The Elderly

Words: 1320
Pages: 6

Slowly, I am entering the world of becoming one of those baby boomers, a group among the elderly, an actual senior citizen. As a senior coming from the baby-boom generation (1946-1964) I have had more exposure to illegal drugs and alcohol than most generations, and it has become more acceptable among us to use substances to cure things ( It scares me to know that I can be-come a statistic of being one of the 17 percent of the senior population who will be a substance abuser. In this paper I will discuss my research and give my reflection on substance abuse of the elderly and explain what and how it affects our adult population, the elderly. One can now get a medical …show more content…
They are part of the population that tends to be ignored, making them especially more of a risk for abusing drugs and alcohol. This is sometimes referred as being a hidden epidemic. There are two types of elderly substance abusers; the hardy survivors and the late onset substance abuser. The elderly that have lived over 65 years of age that have abused drugs and alcohol for years are considered to be the hardy survivors. While those that have begun substance abuse later in life by turning to using alcohol or drugs in order to deal with life changing circumstances are called the late onset substance abuser …show more content…
In older people, alcohol takes longer to metabolize, stockpiling in their bodies which leads to intoxication providing that their consumption is not controlled. Substance abuse is overlooked by health care providers among the elderly since they do not know what to look for. Substance abuse, use, and dependency is mystifying constructs when it comes to assessing complex behavior among the elderly (Benshoff, J.J., Harrawood, L. K., 2013). Substance abuse problems are frequently misdiagnosed among seniors. Seniors may use illegal drugs; consume a lot of alcohol, over the counter medication or prescription medication in harmful ways. Doing this can cause serious money and health problems and possible trouble with the law. The signs of substance abuse in the elderly are similar to those associated with health problems such as dementia and depression. As stated by Dr. Chris Iliades the following are signs of substance abuse among senior adults:
• Anxiety
• Headaches
• Depression, sadness or loss of interest in activities, friends and family
• Memory loss, confusion or