When your Grandfather Needs Drug Addiction Treatment
Grandfathers and grandmothers all over the country who should be relaxing and enjoying their golden years are finding themselves facing an uncertain future thanks to drug addiction. As difficult as it may be for many people to believe, drug addiction among the elderly is one of the fastest-growing health problems in the treatment world. But how did we come to this point?
How your Grandfather came to need Drug Rehab Treatment
It is logical to ask how, exactly, an elderly individual like your grandfather came to become addicted to drugs. Obviously, he is not out on the street corner buying heroin or crystal meth, so the answer must be a bit more complicated. First, elderly individuals often must cope with loneliness. We tend to neglect our older relatives - which causes many of them to experience depression and sadness. Some will choose to self-medicate this pain using drugs (or alcohol). Secondly, the metabolism of an older individual is much weaker than that of a healthier younger person. That means they will be more susceptible to addiction as a result.
What Drugs are your Grandfather Addicted to?
The most common drug addictions involving elderly Americans involve prescription painkillers and other doctor-prescribed medication. Ironically, many seniors have increased access to these medications as they are originally prescribed by doctors to help them maintain good health.
Among the most common drug addictions among the elderly are:
- Vicodin addiction
- OxyContin addiction
- Marijuana addiction
- Alcohol addiction (alcoholism)
The Unique Challenges of Addiction Treatment for your Grandfather
When an elderly individual is addicted to drugs or alcohol, they are immediately deemed a high-risk patient. That is because frail health and substance abuse are a dangerous mix. The older an individual gets, the less able their body is to handle the effects of large quantities of drugs. So if a young person is able to take several Vicodin a day and maintain a semblance of normalcy – that same dosage may put the older individual’s long term health at risk.
As a society, we need to change the way we treat our oldest citizens. Years of neglect have led to the isolation of many seniors. Your grandfather may be sitting alone right now coping with depression and loneliness as a result. If he turns to drugs and alcohol as a means of coping with the pain – will you be there to help him?