Helping Older Adults Overcome Alcohol or Drug Dependence

/, Rehabilitation/Helping Older Adults Overcome Alcohol or Drug Dependence

Over the past few years, the elderly population is growing rapidly in America with about more than 45 million adults over the age of 65. The first step in helping the older adults to overcome their alcohol or drug dependence is to help them in identifying their addiction. They have grown up in an alcohol and drug-friendly culture. The sad fact is that they are taking their addictions with them to their proceeding age without even realizing it is, in fact, a slow poison for them.

In most of the cases, older adults either don’t realize the severity of their addiction or simply don’t want to accept that they indeed have an addiction problem. This issue can be resolved by raising awareness in them about the consequences of not seeking help and continuing their addictions. They need encouragement and motivation to even seek help and find the courage to admit to themselves let alone any other that they are facing the addiction problem.

An intervention is a method which can be adopted by the people who want to help these people. The main goal of it is to help them see the need of and willingly enter a recovery and rehab program. According to Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services (SAMHSA), one or two loved ones of the elderly particularly a spouse or children, a housemate or a close doctor or medical professional can be a part of the intervention. The involvement of too many people or people who are not trusted by the patient can emotionally overwhelm the addicted person and even increase the potential chances of confusion in them. The most important thing for the addict at the very beginning is to gain internal motivation and develop a sense of trust that seeking help and treatment may be effective for them and their health and it is ok for them to start seeking help and not be ashamed.

Once the addicted patient has gained self-motivation and trust, the next step involves the selection of a potential addiction treatment program and a recovery and rehab facility which will offer the sort of treatment services that are required by the addict. There are a number of treatment facilities offering all kinds of services and help.

Some are established specifically for the elderly while others are mixed age treatment centers. It is up to the patient to decide where he or she would feel more comfortable and choose that one. It has been seen that while some older adults enjoy the company of only the people who are of their same age and undergoing the similar situations, there are also a big number of people who like going to mixed age facilities. Whatever may the decision be, it is highly important that the elderly feel safe, secure and a sense of trust in the treatment facility they are going to and find the environment around them friendly and highly welcoming. Support groups are often an essential part of their treatments and recovery process. Even after they have overcome their addiction there is a very high chance that they may relapse and restart their addiction. To prevent that case, the elderly are often advised to join support groups which keep them motivated and help them to stay away from their addiction cravings too.

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