According to the statistical data, in 2001 in the United States approximately 8% of people over 50 years old were admitted to drug rehab problem. After 4 years, in 2005 10% of people over 50 years old were reported as drug addicts. So, in only 4 years the number of older individuals who became addicts increased. This is a reason for us to become worried because the number will definitely rise even more.
Types of Addictions Affecting Seniors
As far as addictions affecting seniors are concerned, in the majority of cases these people abuse alcohol. Alcohol abuse in rising fast, hence a huge need for alcohol rehab in this group of people. They may feel embarrassed to admit their dependence so many times they simply need to be motivated to joint the rehabilitation program.
Other addictions affecting older people such as use of illicit drugs (crack, heroin etc.) are not so frequent. However, since most of these individuals are actually suffering from a variety of conditions and have to take many prescribed medications, this group is at risk of prescription drug abuse. As a matter of fact, it is true that older people are reported more to suffer from prescription drug addiction.
Benefits of Rehab Programs for Seniors
The very behavior of older addicts is much more different comparing to younger people suffering from certain addiction.
Seniors who have developed an addiction tend to seclude themselves from the rest of the world and exclude their family members and fiend from their lives. This is the reason why the main goal of rehab plan, apart from overcoming physical and psychological addiction, is group therapy. Seniors tend to overcome their addiction much easier if they attend regular group-therapy sessions and start making contacts with new people. They also realize that people around them understand their problem and are willing to help.
Meeting other people of the same age group is quite productive. Many seniors say that their age group is specific because they have different health and emotional as well as grief issues which can be only understood by people of the same age.
So, in order to achieve complete elimination of addiction, a senior should join a high-quality drug abuse program taking place in age-appropriate setting. Patients are medically supervised, they undergo compassionate drug detox and are engaged in individual and group counseling supervised by addiction recovery specialists.
The approach of such programs is usually holistic, taking care of the entire person, not just dealing with the addiction. Finally, there is a comprehensive outpatient treatment regimen making sure that patients stay clean and not return to their bad habits.