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The elderly aren’t typically motivated by the same factors that influence teens and young adults to use drugs. Seniors are more likely to abuse alcohol and use prescription medications inappropriately than they are to abuse illegal substances, and they usually don’t do so to seek a “high” or thrill.
The elderly are usually driven by a need or desire to manage physical or psychological symptoms – so they’ll take sleeping pills, anti-anxiety medications and prescription pain medications to do so.
This is a growing problem because as the number of degenerative diseases increase in one’s aging life, so does the number of prescription medications. Oftentimes these scripts are written by a variety of specialists and filled at different pharmacies which can lead to dangerous drug interactions. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), 3 out of 10 adults between the ages of 57 and 85 use five prescription medications or more. (Source SAMHSA webpage)
Why Are Seniors At Risk?
What Can You Do?
If you are an adult child of a senior (or a friend or other relative) and are concerned about the possibility of substance abuse or addiction, here’s is what you can do:
Contact us today to schedule your Family Consultation