Addiction, Alcoholism a Growing Concern for Seniors, Warns Chapters Capistrano

Changes in health and lifestyle may put some seniors at increased risk for substance use disorders, notes Chapters Capistrano.

Although addiction is a recognized problem among young adults, awareness is increasing about the risk substance use disorders pose to seniors as well. Seniors face challenges of their own that may lead them to using drugs or alcohol as a way of coping. They also may not realize the dangerous interactions these substances can have with prescription medications. Chapters Capistrano has released a statement to the press regarding addiction risks and prevention measures for seniors.

“It can be difficult to bring up the topic of addiction or substance misuse with an aging parent,” says Susie Shea, co-owner of the drug and alcohol rehab center in Orange County. “When they’ve always been the one looking out for and supporting you, you don’t want to step on toes. But if their drinking is getting out of hand or they’re taking more medication than prescribed, it can pose a real danger to their health and wellbeing. It is not something that should be ignored or overlooked.”

A study presented at a recent Gerontological Society of America meeting reveals that “U.S. emergency departments saw a 78 percent rise in the number of visits among older adults with misuse of prescription or illicit drugs between 2006 and 2012.” Study author Mary Carter, an associate professor at Towson University, notes that 53 percent of the more than 71,000 cases examined involved people ages 65 to 74. The other 47 percent was people age 75 or older.

“Prescription painkillers are something that need to be closely monitored,” asserts Shea. “If pain is chronic, seniors may start taking more medication than prescribed because they don’t feel it is working as well anymore. Their body builds up a tolerance. Or, they may not remember that they have already taken a dose. If alcohol is added to the equation, this can be even more detrimental.” Alcohol can exacerbate the effects of the medication and also lead to dangerous side effects. It may also interfere with the effectiveness, making it less beneficial.

As seniors settle into retirement, the change of routine and newfound free time can be troubling, says Shea. They are unsure what to do with themselves and often become more isolated because they’re not in an office environment any longer. Drinking may become more frequent as a way to pass the time or try to combat feelings of depression or boredom.

“Help your aging parent find ways to stay active and get involved in the community,” recommends Shea. “Volunteering, recreational activities, clubs, and other social events can keep them connected and give them more of a sense of purpose. You could also talk to their doctor about more natural ways of relieving pain such as acupuncture, massage therapy, or yoga to limit opioid use and risk of addiction.”

If problems arise, there is help available. Through alcohol and drug treatment programs, seniors can overcome addiction and develop healthier routines and coping strategies. “It’s not too late to get help,” says Shea. “Retirement can give seniors the time they need to focus on their recovery and make the most of their future. Chapters Capistrano can help them to start a new chapter in their lives free from addiction.”


Chapters Capistrano is a luxury drug and alcohol treatment center located in the city of San Clemente in Orange County, California, with two beautiful ocean-view homes. Specializing in all types of substance abuse, Chapters offers flexible treatment programs that are designed to offer greater confidence in addiction recovery. With a thorough approach to detox, counseling and mental health, this center has delivered many success stories. In addition to offering alternative approaches to conventional recovery, Chapters is also recognized for providing guest comfort with exceptional accommodations, private rooms and cell and laptop allowance. Those searching to begin a new “Chapter” in addiction recovery are encouraged to contact the facility today.

Media Contact
Company Name: Chapters Capistrano
Contact Person: Marvin Kimble
Phone: 949-287-8248
Address:1525 Buena Vista
City: San Clemente
State: CA
Country: United States