Alcohol Rehab in AZ Embracing Change in Later Life

Alcohol Rehab in AZ – Embracing Change in Later Life

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Substance use disorders have no age limit. Most people don’t think of substance abuse as a problem that older adults have, but it’s more common than they realize. In the United States, almost one million adults 65 years or older struggle with drug or alcohol addiction.[1] If that’s something you’re dealing with, our alcohol rehab in AZ offers the chance to get the care you need.

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Struggling With Addiction: What Causes Substance Abuse in Older Adults?

Many baby boomers are struggling with drug and alcohol addictions they developed in their youth and never got treatment for. Because of the stigma associated with addiction that was still prevalent in the decades in which boomers were growing up, many hid their struggles and didn’t get the guidance they needed. An untreated addiction often only gets worse over time.

Dealing with pain and health problems could lead older adults to turn to drugs or alcohol to self-medicate, even if they never dealt with addiction before. Even mental health conditions can cause them to turn to substances. Although substances can appear to help with symptom management at first, in the long term, they make symptoms worse.

Isolation is another serious issue for older adults, especially those with mobility issues. People who are isolated have a higher chance of developing depression, which is a risk factor for addiction.[2]

It’s important to note that people in older age groups tend not to use drugs and alcohol to “get high,” as their younger counterparts are more prone to do. Instead, they use them to manage negative emotions and physical health issues.

Knowing if You or a Loved One Has an Addiction: Recognizing Substance Abuse in Older Adults

Addiction in seniors is often underdiagnosed because the signs and symptoms that accompany the condition often resemble other issues common to older adults. Some of these signs include:

  • Fatigue
  • Balance problems
  • Diminished cognitive function
  • Slurred speech
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Changes in appetite

Someone with an alcohol use disorder will have difficulties managing how much they drink. If you notice that you can’t just have one drink or you lose control of how much you consume every time you drink, you may have an alcohol addiction.

Other symptoms to watch for are experiencing withdrawal symptoms if you don’t drink, as well as needing to drink more alcohol than you used to in order to feel the same effects. You can also notice you’ve become preoccupied with drinking and spend a lot of time either consuming alcohol or recovering from drinking.

The Dangers of Substance Abuse in the Senior Population

Substance abuse is dangerous for people of all ages, but it poses particular risks for older adults. For one thing, older adults tend to metabolize substances more slowly, and their brains can be more sensitive to drugs and alcohol.[1] This means experiencing more powerful adverse effects and being at a higher risk of overdosing.

Because alcohol remains in your system for longer than it would if you were younger, you can experience an increase in central nervous system effects even from lower amounts of alcohol, leading to more accidents that can result in worse injuries than would occur in younger people.

Another serious concern when it comes to older adults struggling with addiction is the interaction between alcohol and prescription medications.

Many adults over the age of 65 take medications to manage a variety of conditions. The majority of these can’t be taken with alcohol because of potentially serious side effects. Crucially, alcohol can modify serum drug concentrations, increasing drug toxicity levels.[3]

Alcohol Rehab in AZ: Treatment Programs for Older Adults

Just as addiction can affect people of all ages, recovery can also take place at any age. Whether you have an ongoing substance use disorder that you’ve not been able to get help for or one that started recently as a means of coping with negative emotions or health issues, help is a call away.

The first step in addiction treatment is the medical detoxification process, which allows you to remove alcohol from your system without suffering dangerous side effects. You can then choose between inpatient or outpatient programs. The various levels of care will enable you to find what works best for your needs.

An alcohol rehab in AZ like ours at Desert Cove Recovery offers individual and group therapy sessions in all our treatment programs, focusing on evidence-based behavioral health therapies like cognitive-behavioral therapy. These allow you to understand why you’re dealing with an addiction and how to make the necessary changes to get sober while also reducing your feelings of isolation.

If you or your family members are battling a substance use disorder of any kind, we’re ready to help at Desert Cove Recovery. Contact our team to find the right treatment program.