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Face Of Addiction Changing: Elderly People Hooked On Prescription Pain Medication

How many times have we heard that addiction does not discriminate?  Elderly people that are becoming addicted to prescription pain medication have proven this to be true.  The number of elderly people that are hooked on over-the-counter prescription pain medication has increased over the past 20 years, particularly in the state of Florida.  When you think about it, of course doctors would prescribe more prescription pain medication to the elderly population, because they tend to have more issues with back, neck, and other common areas of pain.  However, with more medications given to treat their health problems, comes a greater chance to become dependent on prescription pain medication.

Prescription Pain Medication Addiction

The government’s research surrounding drug abuse has brought on the anticipation of 5.7 million adults older than age 50 requiring some kind of treatment for drugs and/or alcohol abuse by the next half of a decade.  A little more than half of those people will be over age 65, as predicted.  Why are the numbers predicted to be multiplied in the future for this age range?  Some research studies believe that this generation will be more prone to their prescribed pain medication because there are addictive qualities that may have awakened a past untreated addiction. With such a high estimate of elderly people becoming addicted to prescription pain medication, it brings up the curiosity of whether or not the elderly population will actually be willing to attend a treatment facility.

Because of the different phase of their lives, most elderly people’s addictions allegedly stem from additional internal issues that deviate from traditional problems of an addict at any age. Heather Burton, a director of clinical services at a treatment facility, mentioned that some of these issues involve, “facing mortality, structuring the day, and ending isolation.”  It would make sense that those who are over the age of 50 would have new fears and challenges, which subconsciously could push a person to seek a new method to cope as well.  If you add in the factor of frequent doctor visits and prescription pain medication on top of that, then addiction doesn’t seem all that surprising, especially if there was some kind of drug use, even if recreational, earlier in their life.

Prescription Pain Medication Treatment

Hopefully through education and awareness, we can help prevent drug addiction among our elderly population and treat those who are already addicted. The common myth that you can be too old for recovery has to be eliminated. Anyone at any age can recover from the disease of addiction – it just takes willingness and action. If you would like to learn more about how you or your loved one can recover from prescription pain medication abuse, contact us today, we can help.

24/7 Prescription Pain Medication Abuse Helpline: 1-800-439-5959




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