A Need For Drug Rehab For The Elderly
Twenty-five percent of America’s prescription drugs are taken by the elderly-a group that only covers fourteen percent of the nation’s population. With age comes multiple ailments that require multiple medications, a jumble of drugs that interact and interfere with each other. With all of those medications comes the risk of overdose and drug abuse.
Elderly citizens take medication for many reasons. Medications are dispensed for multiple illnesses that blossom as they age, to overcome the grief of the death of a spouse, to battle depression, and to manage pain. Without guidance from a physician or family member they may easily abuse the drugs they’ve been prescribed. Drug rehab is just as essential for the elderly who have become addicted to their drugs as it is for the young who have abused drugs.
Need For Awareness
It is important for doctors and families to be watchful for the elderly as they take their medications. Even elders who are very active mentally and physically sometimes need guidance on choices and need to be asked about the drugs that they are taking.
It is more difficult to recognize drug abuse in the elderly than it is in those under the age of 60. A study revealed that, in those over age 60, only 37 percent were recognized to have substance abuse. In individuals under age 60, 60 percent were recognized to have abused substances.
Some signs of drug abuse may be misinterpreted as signs of aging. Fatigue, confusion, memory troubles, chronic pain, and depression are signs of both drug abuse and aging.
Some elderly fall into abuse by losing track of how many pills they have taken or mixing drugs that have adverse effects. Doctors need to be aware of all medications that their elderly patient is taking before prescribing another one, and family members who go with their elderly relatives can effectively relay this to the doctor.
Some elderly citizens who have become addicted to their medications will purposefully visit multiple doctors to acquire excess amounts of the same drug.
Need for Treatment
Prescriptions for the elderly like Valium, Librium, and Xanax contain Benzodiazepines which are highly addictive. A combination of any of these drugs is considered misuse. Drug rehab is essential to help the elderly who have shown the symptoms of addiction.
Some signs of abuse include getting prescriptions for the same ailment from multiple doctors, running out of pills before they are due for their next prescription, being very defensive when asked about what pills they are taking, and a change in physical and mental behavior.
Some drug rehab programs are more experienced working specifically with elderly patients than others. Elderly citizens need a drug rehab program that gives attention to the needs of a body that is frail and aging. Elderly patients need an atmosphere of caring, tenderness, and patience as they work through their drug addiction.