Do you believe that substance abuse has an age limit? The problem is generally associated with teenagers and young adults in Florida and elsewhere who turn to drugs and alcohol when they have difficulty coping with their changing lives. New research shows that the elderly are increasingly using this same method to deal with their own changes.
Studies reveal that nearly three million Americans over the age of 55 suffer from alcohol abuse and the number is projected to double by 2020. Equally disturbing is the finding that illicit drug abuse in this age group has more than doubled between 2002 and 2013.
What has prompted this sharp increase? While retirement is generally considered to be the payoff for a lifetime of hard work, it’s one of the main factors behind drug abuse in senior citizens. Other troubling late-life events such as failing health and deaths of family and friends also contribute to the problem.
These events combine to create a vacuum in the lives of individuals who are normally accustomed to regular activity. Overwhelmed by change and lacking the skills to cope with them, the elderly turn to alcohol and drugs as a coping mechanism.
A 10-year study conducted by Drs. Peter A. Bamberger and Samuel B. Bacharach found that the circumstances surrounding a person’s retirement had an influence on their drug and alcohol use. Even people who plan for retirement may not fully anticipate the financial, physical and emotional changes that come along with it.
Florida has a high concentration of retirees. Are you a senior citizen in Miami, Florida struggling with the grip of drug or alcohol abuse? Perhaps you’re watching a family member in despair. Our Florida-based rehab center uses personalized courses of treatment that address the unique problems of the elderly. Call 800-298-1783 and take the first step toward successful recovery.