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Addiction Treatment Options, Drug Addiction, Facts About Addiction, Families & Addiction, Outpatient Addiction Care, Substance Abuse, Uncategorized  |  June 16, 2016

As people age, the incidence of arthritis tends to rise, leading to an increase in aches and pains.  Levels of general anxiety can also rise with the years.

What do many of the elderly do in the face of these problems?

They seek medical advice and treatment that often includes one or more drug therapies.

Now add a degree of affluence to the mix and you have a potent recipe for trouble.

Sadly – conventional physicians are all too willing to prescribe medications before other less dangerous options for the ailing in their care – and that is particularly true for older patients.

And what starts out as a case of simple back pain and a prescription of low dose opioid painkillers quickly morphs into full blown addiction.

And remarkably very few physicians even screen for addiction among the general population – let alone the elderly.

What’s more – addiction in this age group is often difficult to spot.

Now add aches and pains to insomnia or generalized anxiety (common in older Americans) – and you find elderly being treated with multiple medications simultaneously … all at a time when the slowing metabolism of later years is altering the way the elderly process the medicines they’re given.

The end result?   Unexplained falls.  Increased confusion.  Diminished mobility. Misdiagnosed dementia.  And a sharp decline the in quality of life.

All the while – problems of addiction are overlooked.  Add affluence to the mix – and with it the ability to game the system (i.e., getting multiple physicians to write prescriptions) and one can easily see how addiction could get out of control.

Can the elderly be treated for addiction the same as younger cohorts?

Yes – but detoxing older patients is often much more difficult, requiring careful monitoring for a longer period of time.

These patients also tend to do better and suffer with less discomfort and confusion when addiction rehab services are provided to them in their home environments – using models like the one developed by Aware Recovery Care in Connecticut.

Extensive research has shown that receiving medical care and monitored support in the home promotes faster recovery, improves outcomes, and increases the patient’s overall physical and psychological well-being.

Aware’s unintrusive treatment approach provides comprehensive care from a team of clinicians led by an Addiction Psychiatrist, a Registered Nurse and, if deemed appropriate, a marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT).  Clients also receive day-to-day support and guidance on maintaining abstinence and dealing with life on life’s terms from a Certified Recovery Advisor (CRA).  Aware Recovery Care delivers unique and individualized face-to-face care, in the client’s own home and community, allowing people to recover where they live.   www.awarerecoverycare.com

Photo credit: Through Painted Eyes via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND