Older Adults Struggle With Addiction

Home / Addiction / Older Adults Struggle With Addiction


Older Adults Struggle With Addiction

People do not expect adults over 55 years of age to have a drug or alcohol problem. Most people view senior citizens as the most innocent group of people. But in reality, about 2.8 million older adults just in the United States suffer from addiction. And according to a study published in the journal, “Addiction,” this number is even estimated to rise to 5.7 million by 2020.

Developing addiction at an older age, specifically alcohol addiction, is sometimes due to the body changing. When the body grows older, it takes longer to break down alcohol and drugs, therefore causing them to become more potent in our systems. Many people contribute addiction in old age to retirement, blaming it on older people having nothing else to fill their time with. This is entirely not the case. Multiple things can contribute to addiction and there is not one definite reason.

Possible reasons for substance abuse in older people in the lack of coping skills or loneliness. Many people lose their spouses or careers and become lonely and depressed and then use drugs or alcohol to cope with their feelings.

A very big misconception about older adults and substance abuse is that they do not benefit from going through treatment. Everyone can benefit from treatment, regardless of age. Getting sober can help them live the rest of their lives healthy and happy.