Over 50s May Need Drug Detox Too

Drug addiction is typically thought of as a young person’s problem. When you think of people in a drug detox center, many of us would think of teenagers, or young adults, who are battling addictions to recreational drugs.

However, there is another side to drug addiction. There is a growing number of senior citizens who require stay at drug detox facilities. With those older than 50, often the drug addiction might be to a prescription drug. As people age, there is a higher chance that they will be prescribed drug medications for an ailment or an illness.

Sometimes people older than 50 are prescribed multiple medications by different doctors. This period of taking a prescription drug for an ailment or an illness, often has the potential to turn into a full-blown addiction.

If you suspect that someone older than 50 in your life may be addicted to prescription drugs, here are some signs and symptoms that may help you identify the addiction and encourage you to offer help:

Depression — If the person in your life is suddenly experiencing periods of depression and/or sudden mood swings, as well as irritability, this may be a sign of prescription drug abuse. Another potential sign is the increased desire to be in isolation, spending less time with family and friends.

Appetite Changes — If the person suddenly finds themselves not very hungry, skipping meals when they ordinarily wouldn’t, this could also be a sign of prescription drug abuse.

Forgetfulness — Is the older person in your life suddenly becoming forgetful about everyday things? Are they not keeping up with their personal hygiene? Perhaps they are neglecting everyday activities, such as sleeping and eating. If so, these also could be signs of prescription drug abuse.

Defensiveness and Denial — If the person you are concerned about is becoming defensive when questioned about the prescription drugs, this is another sign of a growing dependency and potential addiction problem.

What to do when you think someone you love is addicted to prescription drugs:

Say Something — It is important to voice any concerns you may have about your loved one’s behavior. Offer your support. Tell them that help is available. You don’t want to hold off on voicing your concerns and allowing an addiction to get worse. Know that when you say something, the person will likely be in denial about the addiction. But hopefully just saying something will get them thinking about their addiction.

Don’t Blame Yourself — While it is important to voice any concerns you have about a loved one’s potential addiction, it is also important to acknowledge that you are not responsible for the addiction or for someone else’s behavior. Continue to encourage the person to get help, but know that you are not to blame for the situation.

It is also important to consider that there is a whole range of health concerns for those older than 50 who require drug detox. It is important that these individuals go through the withdrawal process in a drug detox center surrounded by medical professionals who can oversee the process and identify any serious medical threats.