People tend to associate drug abuse with teens and young adults. But little do they know, older people are just as susceptible to addiction as anyone else. In fact, it might be even easier for an adult to become addicted. They have the means to purchase the drugs and access to doctors who prescribe them.
Now let’s take a look at some of the main reasons why prescription drug abuse is more prominent in older adults:
This is the main reason why prescription drug abuse is so rampant amongst adults. For those fortunate enough to have financial freedom, retirement can be boring. If the money is there, some people have a hard time not spending it. Once their insurance stops covering the drugs, they can go into a savings account and continue to fund their addiction.
Pain From Aging
Any baby boomer who has dealt with the realities of getting old knows that surgeries come with the territory. After a hip, knee or back surgery, a doctor might prescribe an older patient Percocet, vicodin or oxycontin. Once that prescription is up, some patients find it hard to quit. As you age, your drug tolerance naturally progresses as your metabolism slows. This creates a perfect storm, as the drugs take longer to kick in but their effects increase. In some cases, older patients have become addicted to prescription opioids in as little as ten days.
Anxiety From Retirement
Getting old is tough on the body and the mind. After retirement, some people lose their sense of self-worth and fall into a depression. And as we know, depression is one of the main causes of drug abuse for people of all ages.
If an older person in your life seems to be struggling, don’t pass it off as something they can handle on their own. When prescription drugs come into play, especially opioids, it can be difficult to stop using. That is why these cases often require a loved one to step in and say enough is enough.
A full service drug and alcohol testing company, National Drug Screening (NDS) also provides Medical Review Officer (MRO) services and web based drug testing software. Drug Testing Centers are open daily and are available for individuals, court ordered programs, and required testing for colleges and universities.