The addicts that the general public are not taking in account for are the senior citizens. These individuals are not commonly using street drugs. They are abusing prescription medications without even realizing it. They believe it is acceptable to take these medications because they are obtaining them from their doctors. Their age does not make them exempt from addiction.
Many senior citizens suffer from pain, and therefore their doctor prescribes them pain-relieving medications. Over time, the pain may be resolved, but the individual may still feel the physical pain from their mind. This is called a psychosomatic illness. In believing they are still experiencing the pain, they are justifying the use of their medication. The reality is that they are supporting a tolerance to the drugs.
Other seniors suffer from chronic pain and are prescribed a multitude of pain medications to cope. They too will eventually develop a tolerance and have to take higher quantities and greater strengths of the drugs in order to achieve the same amount of pain relief. In taking these drugs, they are running the risk of experiencing the dangerous side effects that come with prescription medication addiction.
Some of these effects are:
• Cold flashes
• Restless legs
• Vomiting and nausea
• Decreases in blood pressure
• Cardiac arrest
• Shortness of breath
• Diarrhea or other digestive irregularities
If you notice that the senior citizen in your life is obtaining refills of their medications, constantly losing their medications and replacing them consistently, or going through prescriptions much faster than directed, there could very well be a problem. Other signs to look for are changes in moods, sleep patterns, and increased irritability. Speaking with them about your concerns for them is a delicate subject that should be handled with compassion and love.
They may resist realizing there is a problem, believing that they are “too old” to be addicted to a drug. Addiction does not care about age or gender. Addiction can happen to anyone at any time in their life. Those seniors who have had a prior history of addiction should especially be careful when taking narcotic medication, making sure to always explore non-narcotic medication options to avoid dependency.
Distributed by NetJumps International
Company Name: Diamond Recovery Services
Contact Person: Tamara Jennings, LMFT
Country: United States