The opioid epidemic has affected millions of people across the United States, and while the epidemic has yielded tragic effects on children, there’s another population of concern: older adults. The American Society on Aging explains that older adults are struggling with opioids like oxycodone, hydrocodone, fentanyl and other drugs, alongside illicit ones such as heroin and synthetic drugs. It becomes increasingly dangerous for older adults because with age, a person can no longer metabolize drugs as quickly – and because of this, older adults are more at risk for becoming sedated quicker, experiencing respiratory depression and becoming more susceptible to falls, confusion and in some unfortunate cases, overdose.

A 2019 study published in The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry notes that it’s adults who are 55+ who battle opioid use disorder (OUD) and may be less likely to seek treatment. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) explains that a lifetime of drug history in addition to general attitudes on seeking help and different cultural norms can serve as challenges to treatment; if help is sought, however, there are a number of treatments than can help older adults regain their mental, physical and spiritual strength. For example, older adults who undergo detoxification can then embrace healing and restoration through a number of treatment interventions, such as:

  •    Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) – a therapeutic approach to help change old, negative thought patterns into newer, more productive ones
  •    Holistic practices – yoga, meditation, chiropractic services and more can help reduce chronic pain that perpetuated substance abuse for many older adults
  •    Group support – older adults will find that it’s easier to navigate recovery when there are others who can understand them; a genuine healthcare team can also promote greater attendance and participation in recovery-related activities
  •    And more

If you’re ready to take a stand for your mental, physical and spiritual health, speak with a professional from Alta Loma today.

If you’re ready to begin taking great strides towards your health and wellbeing, speak with a professional from Alta Loma today. Mental illness should be taken seriously and, if not treated early on, more severe conditions can arise. The best way to promote happiness and health is to seek help – and to begin using effective interventions for treating the problematic symptoms a person is experiencing. Don’t wait any longer to seek the help you need. Please call Alta Loma today – and you’ll be surrounded by a healthcare team who truly cares about your recovery. 866-457-3843.