It is often challenging to identify addiction among seniors. The symptoms of addiction may actually mimic symptoms of other health problems. Finding the right type of treatment care is also challenging. Most addicts who are 50 years old or older, may not want to go to drug rehab surrounded by people 20 years younger. However, throughout the United States, many drug rehab centers treat only senior adults. These are often inpatient treatment programs, some with more medical care and support, but the clientele is primarily older adults. Outpatient drug rehab is also effective, and 12-step support groups are often made up of middle-aged to older adults. It is important to find the right type of treatment and programs. However, you must first ensure what you are dealing with is an addiction.
When people become older their physical and mental health begins to deteriorate. It is important to pay attention to the warning signs for elderly drug abuse. Although some of these signs could be similar to those of dementia or Alzheimer's. Receiving a full medical check-up will also help determine if it is drug addiction. Some signs would include problems with memory, drastic changes in sleeping habits, and rapid mood changes. The family may also notice a change in eating habits, or a failure to maintain basic hygiene, and a lack of interest in family activities. Some of the common signs would be empty liquor botels and signs of excessive drinking. There could be indicators they are abusing prescription drugs, such as extra pill bottles. Or the dire need to get more of their medication right away. Doctors and addiction professionals can help families who are struggling to determine if a drug problem is there. Once an addiction has been identified, it will be time to locate a suitable treatment program for senior adults.