We often think of addiction as being a young person’s problem. Now, however, the number of adults over 65 with substance abuse disorder is increasing. The reasons why are mostly conjecture, but we are certain of several things:

      • The COVID-19 pandemic has been a very fertile ground for addiction. Isolation, fear, grief, financial strain, and other factors are stressors that can cause us to want to escape.
      • Changes in older adults’ metabolism may make them more sensitive to drugs and alcohol.
      • Substance use can complicate – and be complicated by – other conditions such as mood disorders and memory issues.
      • Chronic health conditions make it more likely that an older adult may be more likely to use addictive medicines, and for a longer time.

This is only a partial list, but you get the idea – older adults are more likely to be struggling with alcohol and drugs than you may think.

The bottom line is, older adults may need help with addiction, and their special needs call for professional expertise in finding the right resources. Reach out if you know someone who needs help.