With all the news and talk of the heroin crisis facing our country there is another overlooked problem…Seniors in Addiction.
Seniors and the elderly are addicted to pain medications and don’t even know it. The medications that are prescribed for pain are being written at alarming rates. Opioid pain medications are meant to be prescribed for acute pain. As we get older, we begin to have some physical issues such as arthritis, back, neck, and joint pains. Issues like these are referred to as chronic pain. The use of opiate drugs (Vicodin, Oxycodone, Dilaudid, and Fentanyl) are not effective in managing these types of pain issues.
People are written scripts for these issues and they never get any better. Their tolerance for these drugs goes up and that is how they become addicted. They cannot function without them. Most of these people that are on these medications have gone through their whole lives with no issues with addiction. They have not had problems with alcohol or other “street” drugs. Now in their 60s and 70s, they have to battle the devastating addiction of opiate dependence.
Many people ask, “How can I tell if they’re addicted?” The answer is that addiction is addiction. The signs and symptoms are no different from people that are addicted to alcohol or illegal narcotics. Some of the signs to watch for are the same.
Are they seeing multiple doctors? Is the person running out of medications before the refill date? Depression and/or aggression? Have sleep patterns changed? Although these are only a few of the signs, you can learn more by visiting our page on prescription drug abuse treatment. Clearbrook has staff available 24/7 to help you answer any questions you may have and help you figure out the next steps.