Lack of knowledge about services available can also impede treatment-seeking among older adults (Choi et al., 2014). By contrast, having had previous treatment contact for SUD tends to increase the probability of seeking treatment for another SUD. It is important that as you try to help your loved one, you find a way to take care of yourself as well. It may help to seek support from others, including friends, family, community, and support groups.
- Although drug addiction impacts people of all ages, few people consider the impact of substance abuse on older adults.
- Blood flow can decrease, and relationships between neurons can change, influencing cognitive function.
- Of course, requirements for addiction counselors will vary by state and employer.
- These programs recognize that various demographics face specific challenges and stressors, and they provide treatment that addresses those issues.
The benefits available may provide coverage for mental health and/or substance abuse treatment. Substance abuse treatment centers typically have staff members who are extremely knowledgeable in how to help fund or use insurance to pay for addiction treatment. Substance abuse treatment can save families and individuals money in the long run, and many times Medicare or supplemental insurance can be used to help pay for the costs. Inpatient treatment is an option for older adults who need around-the-clock care and support while they undergo detoxification and treatment for their substance abuse problems.
Consequences of Substance Abuse
In many cases, the pain can be so severe that it can lead to falls, mobility problems, and sleep difficulties. Hallucinogens and marijuana are also illicit drugs, but they are not as addictive as other substances in this category. Older adults, in particular, are more susceptible to developing serious health complications due to substance abuse, such as heart problems or a fatal overdose.
Older adults are also highly likely to have a comorbid medical or mental health concern, as the Psychiatric Times publishes that psychiatric illness and substance abuse likely co-occur in the elderly population at rates between 21 and 66 percent. Depression and anxiety disorders may be common in seniors who also abuse alcohol or drugs. Substance abuse may be a form of self-medication to temporarily reduce symptoms of mental illness, although in reality substance abuse will only serve to complicate treatment and make side effects of both disorders worse in the long run. Medical and mental health conditions may increase as individuals age, creating the need for high levels of prescription drug usage.
Ideally, health professionals would be able to identify which AUD treatment is most effective for each person. NIAAA and other organizations are conducting research to identify genes and other factors that can predict how well someone will respond to a particular treatment. These advances could optimize how treatment decisions are made in the future.
- Opioids are the second most commonly reported substance of abuse by seniors.1 The number of fatal opioid overdoses among seniors has risen dramatically over the last decade.
- It is rare that someone would go to treatment once and then never drink again.
- SUDs may be difficult to recognize and treat in older adults due to the presence of other psychiatric and general medical disorders.
- Symptoms of cognitive decline and symptoms of substance misuse may be similar.
More often, people must repeatedly try to quit or cut back, experience recurrences, learn from them, and then keep trying. For many, continued follow up with a treatment provider is critical to overcoming what is the best treatment for substance abuse for older adults problem drinking. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved three medications for treating alcohol dependence, and others are being tested to determine whether they are effective.
The scope of substance use in older adults
Evidence-based screening techniques, brief interventions or treatments, and specialized care options give older adults the best chances of improving their physical and emotional health. Identification and treatment of SUDs can be challenging, but is possible with the right knowledge and tools. Naltrexone is an opioid blocker and cannot be used in clients who require prescription opioids for pain relief.
- This article presents an overview of epidemiology, service use, and clinical considerations on SUD in older adults and suggests future directions.
- If you are considering joining a trial or study, get answers to your questions and know your options before you decide.
- As loneliness is a common addiction trigger, group-based therapy modalities may serve as an effective form of relapse prevention.
This makes it harder for family members, caregivers, and healthcare and behavioral health service providers to recognize when older adults misuse substances. Treatment options for elderly alcohol abuse or drug addiction vary depending on the level of medical care needed. They may include educational and preventative services and support, medical detox, and outpatient or inpatient treatment. Admittedly, studies on the effects of treatment of substance abuse in older adults are few and far between, which is why it is crucial to find specific ways to engage the senior. Residential treatment likely provides the most comprehensive level of care as medications can be monitored for adverse effects, and individuals can receive medical and mental healthcare 24 hours a day.
This guide will serve as a compendium of key policies for the prevention of alcohol misuse that have been identified as evidence-based by robust scientific literature. Community engagement is often cited as a tool to improve the health of the community and its members. This guide will review evidence related to leveraging community engagement to support the implementation and scale-up of evidence-based programs and policies. When you call our helpline, you’ll https://ecosoberhouse.com/ be connected with a representative who can assist you in finding mental health and addiction treatment resources at any of the Ark Behavioral Health addiction treatment facilities. Older adults and their loved ones might start by looking for Medicare-accepting services. Older adults, like younger adults, benefit from individual therapy sessions while in recovery for substance abuse, and therapy can be personalized to the client’s individual needs.
- Isaak learned addiction psychology at Aspen University and got a Master’s Degree in Arts in Psychology and Addiction Counseling.
- Lack of social support, which often increases with age, can increase the risk for and worsen the course of, SUD.
- According to NIDA, major life changes such as moving to a new home or losing a loved one are risk factors for substance use and addiction.
- They include factors such as specific health conditions or medications that could interfere with the treatment being tested.
- Because of this focus, not everyone meets the criteria to participate in every trial.