Addiction is a habit or a condition in which a person gets involved to take pleasure from it but its continuous act/usage may cause serious health, physical and mental issues. Addiction usually involved ingesting a substance or getting engaged in an activity for pleasure. It has been observed that this problem is more found in the elderly than the youth.
There are various reasons due to which addiction is more common in people who usually lie in the older age groups particularly 55 and older. These reasons may including stress, depression, financial problems, loneliness, etc.
Addiction is a very serious problem among the elderly mainly because it is the hardest job to detect and find the symptoms and signs of addiction in them. Quite often these signs and symptoms could easily be mistaken for signs of aging. Even if friends and family do somehow find out the signs of addiction they don’t always opt for treatment and help for the addict because of his old age. According to an estimate, three million Americans are suffering from some kind of addiction and struggling with alcohol or drug misuse.
Addiction is, in fact, a very complex and chronic disease which is hard to overcome. It is a serious mental illness as well because almost about sixty-three percent of the elderly who are suffering from some kind of serious addiction problem have been found to be victims of anxiety and depression. These older adults have more free time on their hands and loneliness is a major factor which is causing them to turn to these sources to find pleasure and become addicted to it whether it is substance abuse or alcoholism.
In most cases, these elderly are living alone or away from their children and family and have retired from their jobs. They have more time to kill and less to do. Due to old age, they can’t really do much and become lonely and depressed. They yearn to find some pleasure, solitude and just about anything that will make them feel like they have escaped the cage of loneliness and addiction becomes an easier way out.
Another important reason is that the older adults can easily get access to alcohol or drugs for pain. They are quite self-reliant and when facing physical pain they turn to prescription drugs and the risk of dependence and misuse increases.