Everyone suffering from addiction still deserves a chance at recovery and a better life free of substance abuse. If your loved one has developed a late-in-life prescription opiate habit, call 800-442-6158 Who Answers? now to find safe, reliable rehab options for their needs.
The Issue of Prescription Opiate Abuse Among Older Adults
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration calls this issue “an invisible epidemic” because it is “one of the fastest growing health problems facing the country… yet remains underestimated, underidentified, underdiagnosed, and undertreated.” This issue is especially common with the use of prescription opioids, which are often given to older adult patients by doctors after surgeries and to treat other types of pain both chronic and acute.
However, as stated above, it goes ignored by most as a nonissue. This is because:
- Younger individuals, especially children of the older adults in these situations, do not wish to discuss what they see in their parents’ problematic behaviors out of embarrassment or discomfort. Therefore, they keep silent or ignore the issue altogether.
- Some individuals do realize that this has become an issue for their parent, but they may instead choose to do nothing, as they feel their parent’s last years should be untroubled. They often cite the argument that the individual is old and will not be alive much longer so should not be bothered.
- Alcohol use disorders, along with prescription addiction, is much more common in older adults than it was several years ago.
This is why, unfortunately, this issue often goes unnoticed and can create a severe addiction syndrome in many elderly individuals. But is treatment for prescription opiate addiction really necessary this late in life?
Treatment Can Help
Older individuals are more likely to take prescription medications for a long time than younger adults, and “approximately 25%” of the population is using medications that have the potential to be abused and cause addiction (SAMHSA).
Therefore, this issue is serious, and it is not enough to simply ignore it or to tell yourself that your older loved one shouldn’t be bothered. Professional addiction treatment can highly improve a person’s quality of life, no matter what age they are at, and help them end their dependence on and abuse of prescription opiates.
The abuse of these drugs can cause severe side effects, even a deadly overdose syndrome if taken in high doses. In addition, individuals who rely heavily on opioids are more likely to experience pain, discomfort, and serious physical, mental, and emotional problems as a result.
Treatment will help a person put an end to their abuse in the way most are unable to do on their own.
Seek Prescription Opiate Abuse Treatment Today
It is important not to think of your parent’s or loved one’s opioid abuse as something taboo or a harmless vice they should be able to keep in order to please them. Prescription opiate abuse is dangerous, deadly, and extremely difficult to stop on one’s own.
This is why seeking treatment is the best possible option for anyone, no matter how old they are. You can help your loved one by calling 800-442-6158 Who Answers? now and finding rehab programs that can help them recover.
How to Know if You’re In Danger of Abusing Your Opiate Prescription–And Where to Find Help