Inpatient Drug Rehab for Seniors
While teens and young adults make up a large number of those abusing drugs, a large percentage of seniors currently engage in substance abuse practices. According to Johns Hopkins Health Alerts, seniors consume an estimated one third of all prescription drugs while only making up 13 percent of the U. S. population.
As seniors seek out medical care for injuries and chronic conditions on a more frequent basis than other age groups, they’re subsequently exposed to more potentially addictive medications on an ongoing basis. Not surprisingly, inpatient drug rehab for seniors will continue to increase in demand as the baby boomer generation advances in years.
While drug rehab programs follow pretty much the same protocols when treating addiction conditions, other provisions must be put into place in order to provide inpatient drug rehab for seniors. As seniors typically have different medical and psychological needs than other age groups, inpatient drug rehab approaches must likewise address the various challenges and pressures seniors face in daily life.
Signs of Substance Abuse in Seniors
Signs of substance abuse in seniors may be hard to spot, especially in cases where a person takes prescription medications for different ailments. In the case of pain medications, a person can become dependent or addicted, even when taking these drugs as prescribed.
Signs of substance abuse in seniors include:
- Neglecting personal appearance and/or hygiene
- Problems remembering things
- Isolative behaviors
- Unsteady or clumsy gait
- Gain or loss of appetite
- Bouts of depression
Inpatient drug rehab enables seniors to break the addictive effects of drugs in their lives while providing healthy coping strategies for maintaining abstinence.
Senior Needs in Inpatient Drug Rehab
Senior lifestyles can increase a person’s risk of addiction, especially when issues of limited mobility become a factor. Situations that place seniors at risk of developing substance abuse problems include –
- Chronic pain conditions
- Existing mental health problems
- Personal and/or family history of substance abuse
- Living alone
Like most any type of drug rehab, inpatient drug rehab for seniors addresses the underlying issues that drive a person to seek escape in drug use.
As substance abuse can take a toll on most anyone’s physical health, inpatient drug rehab for seniors places an added emphasis on providing needed medical care. Within an inpatient facility, seniors receive round the clock nursing and medical care, especially during the detox stage.
In order to do this, these programs house medical and clinical staff specifically trained in geriatric care as well as in addiction treatment. The types of staff involved include –
- Fitness coordinators
- Registered nurses
- Case managers
- Addiction counselors
When seeking treatment for drug addiction, inpatient drug rehab becomes a necessary first step towards recovery. These programs mainly address the physical aspects of addiction. Maintaining long-term abstinence requires needed aftercare supports be in place.
For seniors, aftercare provisions involve any needed social supports a person may require, such as ongoing medical and psychiatric care. Ensuring seniors can access community-based support group meetings is also important. A good inpatient drug rehab program will provide seniors with an aftercare plan for maintaining a drug-free lifestyle.