Drug and Alcohol Abuse Increasing Among the Elderly
Though the common stereotype is that young people are the ones addicted to drugs and alcohol, new research shows that substance abuse is becoming a growing problem among elderly people. Older people are showing increasing rates of alcohol and drug abuse, according to Dr. Ole J. Thienhaus, a psychiatry professor at the University of Arizona. Though percentage numbers are relatively low, they are rising, which is a troubling trend for the older people in America.
Thienhaus asserted that the elderly have a “cohort effect,” which means that the group keeps their trends and habits as they age. As the Baby Boomers reach retirement age, alcohol abuse is the most common addiction among both men and women. Increasing rates of prescriptions, and the fact that many older people are taking multiple pills per day has also contributed to another growing problem: the abuse of prescription or over-the-counter medication. On average, someone over the age of 60 takes 5.3 prescription medications per day, and 87% take at least one over-the-counter medication.
Though many people think that substance abuse is a young person’s problem, the new research shows that it’s a growing problem among the elderly as well. Thankfully, there is good help available. Detoxification and behavioral therapy have proven to be effective in treating drug and alcohol dependence. Addicts are often unable to complete treatment on their own or with family members, so it’s very important to seek the right treatment center. At Seabrook House, we customize our treatment plans to individual patient’s needs, so you know the help you’re getting is right for you or a loved one. Seabrook House has rehabilitation centers in New Jersey (NJ), Pennsylvania (PA), and an outpatient center in New York (NY). Contact Seabrook House today for any questions about alcohol, addiction, and treatment.