Guest Post By: Amanda Kaestner
The latest medicines developed in the 21st century are certainly wonders of the modern world. Not only do they significantly aid major healing, alleviate all types of severe pain and even help with one's state of mind, they are, due to intensive testing, quite safe. Still, they are not completely risk-free.
One of their most potent – and dangerous – side effects tied to many drugs in modern prescriptions is addiction. This problem of prescription abuse is notable in seniors who may not have any experience with powerful drugs and who can be blindsided by their effects. Signs ofdependency range from fatigue through loss of interest in hobbies to a neglect of one's hygiene.
Here are some other important facts that you and your loved ones should know:
Addiction is Subtle
After a lifetime of non-substance abuse, there are some seniors out there who have never had any forms of addictive personality or addiction to anything else in their lives. Nevertheless, anyone that takes any form of medication, especially pain killers, can have the potential to be unable recognize the warning signs of impending addiction.
By simply, increasing your dose marginally or decreasing the intervals between doses, you can easily create a dependence that you did not initially count on acquiring. Senior rehabilitation and nursing center facilities undergo extensive training to recognize addiction and abuse of prescriptions and pain killers in their senior patients that may have undergone recent surgery or experience chronic pain due to old age. Although the medication is certainly needed in order to manage the pain, consistent yearning for the drugs and their effects can become second nature to the patient without them even recognizing their addictive behavior or tendencies.
No One is Immune
Seniors may not seem to fit society’s typical definition of an addict. But the fact of the matter here is that addiction has no common image. Addiction can happen to anyone, and the senior group is especially prone to its power since they’re a majority group that, as they age, often need more supplements and prescriptions. In fact, according to the NCADD regarding seniors and drugs, one out of every eight people seeking help for substance abuse – prescription, over-the-counter or illegal – is over the age of 50.
The Bottom Line
There is no doubt that ever increasing numbers of seniors are becoming addicted to prescription drugs. The latest figures from the Administration on Aging (AOA) indicate that the number of seniors addicted to prescription drugs will likely double by the year 2020. Keep your medication under control and do not become part of this statistic. If you or a senior in your life is abusing their prescription drugs, there is definitely help from local narcotic rehabilitation centers. The first step is to recognize and accept that addiction is in fact real and it’s affecting one’s life. Every step to recovery gets easier from there.