Unique Consequences of Substance Abuse in the Older Population

Written by: Cypress HomeCare Solutions

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Each April since 1987, the National Council on Alcohol and Drug Dependence, Inc. (NCADD) has sponsored Alcohol Awareness Month to increase public awareness and understanding, reduce stigma and encourage local communities to focus on alcoholism and alcohol-related issues.

Many people don’t think that the older generation can suffer from alcohol and other types of substance abuse. Substance use among older adults is a public health concern that could increase, especially as the baby boomer generation ages. Alcohol use by older adults is legal but can also be problematic. Here are some of the negative impacts of substance abuse in the older population and how our in home care services can help.

How Common Is Alcohol Abuse in Older Adults?

According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, show that nearly 1 million adults aged 65 years or older (2% of all seniors) reported a substance use disorder during the past year. Additionally, alcohol is the most frequently reported substance of abuse for persons aged 65 or older.

The Negative Impacts of Alcohol Abuse on Older Adults

Alcohol abuse has negative impacts on people of all ages, but there are certain additional consequences for older adults. Alcohol use can negatively affect a person’s sense of balance. It can increase the likelihood of a fall, which may result in more serious injuries among older adults than younger adults. Other risks could include accidental misuse of prescription drugs and possible worsening of existing mental health issues.

Alcohol can interact dangerously with medications taken by older adults, including over-the-counter drugs, herbal remedies, and prescriptions. Older adults may be more likely to experience mood disorders, lung and heart problems, or memory issues. Drugs can worsen these conditions, exacerbating the negative health consequences of substance use. Alcohol can also exacerbate common medical conditions in older adults, including stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, osteoporosis, memory loss, and mood disorders.

How We Can Help

Our in-home care services can help you or your loved ones get the support they need. We have the experience and knowledge to ensure that our clients maintain their proper medications and are not misusing any substances. Our team at Cypress HomeCare Solutions is always happy to provide answers about our services, experience, and compassionate approach to our in-home care services in Phoenix, AZ. Reach out to us today to learn all about our business and receive your free in-home assessment.

Posted 4/12/23

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