Substance abuse in the elderly unique issues and concerns

Substance abuse in the elderly unique issues and concerns

Which is the leading substance abuse problem in the elderly?

Overall, alcohol was the most frequently reported primary substance of abuse for persons aged 50 or older. Opiates were the second most commonly reported primary substance of abuse, reported most frequently by individuals aged 50 to 59.

How do substance use disorders affect older adults?

Signs of possible substance misuse among older adults may include physical symptoms such as injuries, increased tolerance to medication, blackouts, and cognitive impairment. Psychiatric symptoms that may suggest a problem with substance misuse include sleep disturbances, anxiety, depression, and mood swings.

What are some health issues associated with medication misuse or abuse by the elderly?

Older adults are at high risk for medication misuse due to conditions like pain, sleep disorders/insomnia, and anxiety that commonly occur in this population.

Why has substance abuse and dependence among older adults being unrecognized?

Substance misuse among older adults is generally different from that of younger adults . As people age, their bodies metabolize alcohol more slowly. Therefore, older adults have increased sensitivity to and decreased tolerance for alcohol.

What is the most common mental health problem for older adults?

Depression is the most common mental health problem in older people. People aged 85 and older have the highest suicide rate of any age group. Two-thirds of seniors with mental health problems do not get the treatment they need (the “treatment gap”).

How does alcohol affect the elderly?

In older adults, too much alcohol can lead to balance problems and falls, which can result in hip or arm fractures and other injuries. Older people have thinner bones than younger people, so their bones break more easily. Studies show that the rate of hip fractures in older adults increases with alcohol use.

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What is the best pain medication for the elderly?

For mild pain, the most appropriate first choice for relatively safe analgesia is acetaminophen . For mild to moderate pain or pain uncontrolled with acetaminophen , the use of NSAIDs is appropriate.

Which of the following anxiety disorders is most common among the elderly?

Generalized anxiety disorder ( GAD ) is the most common anxiety disorder among older adults, though anxiety disorders in this population are frequently associated with traumatic events such as a fall or acute illness.

How widespread the drug abuse is?

A little more than 9% of the adult U.S. population has mood disorders, according to a new study published in The Archives of General Psychiatry. A slightly larger number — 9.35% — abuse alcohol or drugs , and about 11% have anxiety disorders, say the researchers.

Which anxiety disorder seems to be the most common for those over the age of 65?

Constant and often debilitating worry — usually about routine events — is the defining feature of generalized anxiety disorder . Although it is one of the most common types of mental illness affecting people ages 60 and older, generalized anxiety disorder is often dismissed or overlooked in this population.

How widespread is drug abuse in South Africa?

The statistics showed that the use of cannabis, cocaine, and tik was twice as much in South Africa as worldwide. Alcohol abuse was a major problem in South Africa and an estimated two million people could be classified as problem drinkers. The socio-economic cost of alcohol abuse was an estimated R130 billion per year.

Alice Sparrow

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