Baby Boomers Facing Addiction
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), there is an ongoing dramatic increase in elderly drug addiction. Studies show 75% of this segment of the population reported that their primary substance abuse began before the age of 25. However, there has also been a proportional increase in the use of new drugs among those suffering with elderly drug addiction in the last five years. Based on admittance records, elderly drug addiction involves the use of alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, heroin and prescription drugs.
According to SAMHSA, alcohol is still the leading cause of addiction. For most seniors, it is just the easiest substance of abuse to access. However, there has been a sharp decline in a fifteen year period from 84.6 % to 59.9% paralleling an increase in the use of new drugs. SAMHSA statistics based on admittance records show:
1. Marijuana use increased from 0.6% to 2.9%
2. Cocaine treatment rates increased from 2.9% to 11.4%
3. Heroin use more than doubled from 7.2% to 16%
4. Prescription drug abuse increased from 0.7% to 3.5%
New Face of Addiction
Most elderly addicts do not seek treatment because of the perceived stigma attached to addiction. Some are doing too good a job of hiding their substance abuse because they spend most of their time alone. Accepting that rehab is a necessity can increase anxiety levels. This dramatic trend in addiction is not entirely due to the blatant use of drugs in the 60s. Most can be attributed to variables such as loss of virility, chronic pain from illness, loneliness, lack of goals, boredom or the presence of a mental disorder such as depression.
Treatment for the elderly is specialized, but not unlike treatment for anyone suffering with similar addiction. Elderly patients who utilize our treatment services must undergo a complete mental and physical evaluation before treatment can commence. Because treatment is customized, issues such as gender, age, physical and psychological status guide recovery. Records show that elderly patients are typically more involved in the entire treatment process. Unlike young adults, they are also more likely to complete treatment and remain substance free for the rest of their lives.
Treatment can help you to set yourself free from the ties of alcohol and drug addiction. Houston Alcohol Treatment Centers provides innovative treatment programs for addiction. Call us today at (713) 401-3815 to learn how you can recover in our rehab facility.