Guide to Addiction Prevention for Seniors

Guide to Addiction Prevention for Seniors

Alcohol and drug addiction is a growing problem for seniors, and it’s extremely dangerous. As we get older, our metabolisms change, and it becomes more difficult to process things. This can lead to higher intoxication levels and health complications. Guide to Addiction Prevention for Seniors

One of the biggest challenges with senior addiction is that its symptoms mimic those of many other conditions associated with aging, such as diabetes, dementia, and vertigo.

There’s also a commonly-held belief that fuels the fires. Many people believe that addiction is a disease for the young; seniors have long since passed the age for addiction. Unfortunately, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Guide to Addiction Prevention for Seniors

Reasons for Senior Addiction

Each person is different, but many seniors become addicted for similar reasons. When you’ve reached senior status, loss and grief are inevitable. It can be a very lonely and isolating experience that leads some people to self-medicate.

We all know the aches and pains that seem to come naturally with aging. Whether it’s arthritis or injuries, the pain can be unbearable. When it really becomes too much to bear, many seniors turn to prescription medications. These are a completely legal and acceptable way to handle pain, but it can lead to prescription drug addiction.

How to Prevent Addiction for Seniors

Addiction can be dangerous and even deadly for seniors, so it’s important not to walk that path. And although many seniors use addiction as a way to deal with loneliness, it will only isolate you further. Here are a few tips for preventing addiction in your senior years.

  1. Keep track of your medications – It’s easy to lose track of the pills you’ve taken, even if your memory is sharp as a tack. One day blends with another, and you can’t remember whether you took your last pill this morning or yesterday morning. It happens. But if you’re taking addictive substances, this can lead you down the path of addiction. Keep your pills in a daily pill dispenser or task someone else to keep track of them for you.
  2. Take painkillers only when you really need them – If you’ve been prescribed a prescription painkiller, use it only when your pain is exceptionally high. If your pain is always exceptionally high, talk to your doctor about other pain relief options. Injections or surgery may be a better option for you.
  3. Drink alcohol sparingly – If you do drink alcohol, try to keep it as a social thing. When you drink alone, it’s easy to drink more than you should. It can also become a habit that leads to alcoholism.
  4. Learn about senior addiction – Read more about senior addiction. You can start with this article from the National Council for Alcoholism and Drug Dependence.

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, it’s important to get help right away. Senior addiction can be very dangerous, and every day that goes by, the problem gets worse. The conversations may not be the most comfortable, but they are extremely necessary. Start talking about addiction to everyone you think needs to hear. Guide to Addiction Prevention for Seniors

Trevor McDonald is a freelance writer and recovering addict & alcoholic who’s been clean and sober for over 5 years. Since his recovery began, he has enjoyed using his talent for words to help spread treatment resources, addiction awareness, and general health knowledge.

Guide to Addiction Prevention for Seniors

Guide to Addiction Prevention for Seniors Guide to Addiction Prevention for Seniors Guide to Addiction Prevention for Seniors Guide to Addiction Prevention for Seniors Guide to Addiction Prevention for Seniors Guide to Addiction Prevention for Seniors Guide to Addiction Prevention for Seniors Guide to Addiction Prevention for Seniors

about the author

Kimberly Johnson

As a co-owner of Senior.com, Kimberly Johnson is passionate about providing Seniors with the resources and products to live well.  Kimberly is a seasoned caregiver to her family and breast cancer survivor.  Her father battled ALS, Lou Gehrig’s disease, for 13 months before passing.  Today Kimberly lives in Southern California near her 102 year old grandmother, widowed mother, a mentally disabled sister and second sister who is also a breast cancer survivor.  She is happily married to her husband of 22 years and they have 3 children.

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