Addiction is not something that reserves itself for a particular demographic. Many people may be surprised to know that an alarming amount of seniors wrestle with addiction. Substance use among seniors is often an overlooked issue. As the population ages, an increasing number of older adults are facing challenges related to addiction; this is often due to a combination of factors unique to this life stage. Recognizing and addressing substance use in seniors with addiction treatment programs is essential for improving quality of life. Our rehab facility in Portland, Oregon, offers specialty treatment for seniors, men, women, and young adults. Call our Crestview team today to learn more!

addiction rehab for seniors

What Are the Most Common Substance Use Disorders in Older Adults?

The most common addictions in seniors include alcoholism and prescription drug misuse, particularly opioids and benzodiazepines. Alcohol addiction is often overlooked or misdiagnosed, despite being the most prevalent substance use issue among seniors. Additionally, misuse of prescription medications, especially those prescribed for pain management or anxiety disorders, has seen a marked increase in the aging population. It’s important to advocate for increased awareness and resources to address these under-recognized issues.

Substance use disorders among senior adults are often not acknowledged due to various factors such as stigma, lack of awareness, and ageism. Many people tend to believe that substance use is a problem exclusive to the younger generations, but the truth is that it affects individuals of all ages. One of the reasons why this issue remains hidden among seniors is that they may not exhibit typical signs and symptoms of substance use.

What are the Typical Signs and Symptoms of Substance Use in Seniors?

Substance use among seniors often presents with a range of subtle signs that can easily be mistaken for typical signs of aging or manifestations of chronic illnesses. These may include the following:

  • Changes in sleeping patterns
  • Unexplained weight loss or gain
  • Decline in personal hygiene
  • Frequent mood swings
  • Increasing secrecy or solitude

Memory problems, a decrease in motor coordination, and a shift in social activities may also be observed. Additionally, frequent visits to different doctors or pharmacies might signify an attempt to acquire more of the substance. Understanding these signs is crucial for early detection and intervention.

What are The Risk Factors/Causes of Substance Use Disorder in Seniors?

Substance use among senior adults has several causative factors and risks. Oftentimes, these triggers include the following:

  • Significant life changes
  • Retirement
  • Financial stress
  • Loss of loved ones
  • Feelings of loneliness
  • Depression
  • Anxiety

These can prompt increased substance use as a coping mechanism. Chronic pain or health issues can also lead to increased reliance on prescription medications, potentially leading to addiction. Another cause of substance use disorder in seniors has to do with metabolism. Metabolism slows down with age, which can increase the impact of alcohol and drugs on an older person’s system. Lack of awareness about substance use in older adults can also lead to late diagnosis, exacerbating the problem.

How Do Drugs and Alcohol Abuse Affect Seniors?

Drug and alcohol abuse distinctly impact seniors, often exacerbating health problems and disrupting their quality of life. Chronic misuse can lead to significant physical complications, including heart problems, liver disease, or increased risk of stroke. These substances may interact adversely with prescribed medications, impairing their efficacy or causing harmful side effects.

Mentally, seniors may experience an escalation in depression, anxiety, and memory loss. Addiction also leads to social isolation, as relationships with family and friends can be strained, leading to emotional distress. It’s important for healthcare providers to screen for substance use in seniors to manage and mitigate potential harm.

How Many Senior Adults Struggle with Substance Use Disorder?

Substance use among senior adults is an under-recognized and growing health concern globally. Studies have shown that approximately 1 in 17 senior adults in the United States struggle with substance use. This means roughly 2.8 million seniors abuse substances including alcohol and prescription medication misuse. The challenge lies in the fact that symptoms often mimic normal signs of aging; this makes it difficult to identify and address the problem.

Individualized Care at Crestview

addiction rehab for seniors in portland

At Crestview Recovery, we prioritize individualized care for seniors, providing a tailored approach to meet the unique needs of each resident. Our care plans are developed in collaboration with the individual, their family, and medical professionals to ensure optimal health, wellness, and happiness. Our dedicated team of caregivers are fully trained and committed to providing compassionate, respectful support; we believe in promoting the dignity and independence of each senior. From medication management to assistance with daily living activities, Crestview Recovery fosters a nurturing environment for seniors.

Gender and age-specific substance use treatments are crucial. Individualized treatment methods cater to the unique circumstances, experiences, and developmental stages of different individuals. For example, women may face different societal pressures or have different co-occurring disorders than men; these factors should be considered in treatment. Similarly, young people are at a different developmental stage than adults and may require different interventions or therapeutic approaches. All of that being said, tailoring treatments according to gender and age allows for a more effective and successful recovery process.

Crestview Recovery is committed to providing comprehensive addiction treatment to all individuals aged 18 and over. We help clients navigate their journey to recovery by fostering an environment of support and understanding. Treating each person as an individual with their unique needs and challenges is of the utmost significance to us. Our patient-centric approach ensures that everyone receives the care they need to overcome addiction and embark on a path to stability.

What Challenges Do Seniors Face in Treatment for Substance Use?

Seniors face unique challenges when seeking treatment for substance use. Physiologically, they may struggle with an increased risk of dangerous side effects from detoxification and withdrawal. This is due to age-related changes in metabolism and organ function. In addition to this, societal stereotypes about aging and substance use can result in underdiagnosis, delayed treatment, and unideal care quality. Seniors may also face logistical challenges, such as limited mobility or lack of transportation, which can hinder access to treatment facilities. Emotional factors such as stigma or the fear of judgment may also deter seniors from seeking help.

Addiction Treatment Programs for Seniors in Portland

There are several comprehensive addiction treatment programs available for seniors in Portland. At Crestview Recovery, we offer the following methods of care:

  • Residential treatment
  • Outpatient treatment
  • Medically assisted treatment
  • Psychotherapy

These programs offer a blend of medical, therapeutic, and holistic approaches to effectively address the unique challenges older adults face in addiction recovery. At Crestview Recovery, we provide services like individual and group therapy, medication-assisted treatment, and aftercare planning. We also include wellness activities designed to promote physical health, mental clarity, and emotional well-being.

Residential substance use treatment for seniors offers a specialized and focused approach catering to the unique needs of older adults. These programs provide a safe, therapeutic environment where seniors can receive comprehensive care. Residential treatment, depending on the severity of one’s addiction, could last anywhere from 28 days to six months. Through a combination of therapies and treatment methods, seniors are empowered to overcome addiction and improve their quality of life.

Outpatient substance use treatment can be a viable and effective option for seniors struggling with addiction. This form of treatment provides seniors with necessary support while allowing them to maintain their regular routines and residence. It can be particularly beneficial for seniors who have strong support networks and are highly motivated to recover.

It’s important to consider that the success of outpatient treatment depends on a variety of factors. These may include the individual’s overall health, the severity of their addiction, and the presence of any co-occurring mental health disorders. The length of treatment is also impacted by these variables; outpatient care could last anywhere from 3 months to over a year depending on the severity or complexity of one’s addiction.

Medication plays a vital role in the treatment of seniors suffering from substance use. Pharmacotherapy can help manage withdrawal symptoms and cravings and can be instrumental in the recovery process. Medications such as Buprenorphine, Methadone, and Naltrexone are typically used for opioid dependence; Disulfiram, Acamprosate, and Naltrexone can assist with alcohol dependence. Nevertheless, it’s essential that medication management is always paired with behavioral therapies and personalized care plans. This ensures a comprehensive approach to treatment that addresses the unique needs and health considerations of older adults.

Psychotherapy plays a critical role in the treatment of substance use among seniors, acting as a crucial component of comprehensive recovery programs. It provides a safe environment for elderly individuals battling addiction to discuss their experiences, apprehensions, and motivations for change. Techniques such as cognitive-behavioral therapy allow them to modify harmful thinking and behavior patterns. On the other end, motivational interviewing can enhance their readiness for change.

Group therapies often create a sense of camaraderie and provide peer support, which is particularly beneficial for this age group. In essence, psychotherapy addresses the symptoms of substance use; this method also addresses the underlying psychological factors contributing to the condition, helping an individual’s overall mental health.

Crestview is Here to Support Seniors with Addiction

senior on a alcohol rehab program

Addiction has no respect for gender, age, or station. Thankfully, Crestview is here to help. If you or a loved one would like to find out more, you can contact us here.