“Retirement” generally creates thoughts of warm weather, golf, travel and well-earned relaxation. But many American retirees also develop devastating habits, especially drug addiction. The number of addicts over 50 is quickly growing: in 2001, federal statistics documented over 1.7 million senior-aged drug abusers, and the government believes senior drug addicts will reach 4.4 million by 2020. Fortunately, professional resources can help these people quit drugs and restore their health.
Why Retired People Abuse Drugs
Substance abuse rates are skyrocketing among retirees for many reasons. For instance, many retirees enjoy social drinking, which can promote alcoholism. Furthermore, drug use can progress into abuse after the death of a spouse, isolation from retirement, financial stress from a fixed income and developing a mental health issue, disease or chronic pain. Even further, retirees may encounter more ailments and a natural decline in health, and they are regularly prescribed many medications, from amphetamines to painkillers. When medications are prescribed by a doctor, many people ignore the potential risks and consequences that may result from long-term use, so they are inclined to misuse the drug. Believing that prescription drugs are “safe” can increases the chances that people will overlook the warnings of addiction, like tolerance, dependence, withdrawal and more.
Why Retirees Abuse Amphetamines
Retirees have progressed beyond prescription drugs and alcohol to street drugs like amphetamines. Amphetamines can stimulate an individual’s mind and energy levels, provide euphoria, decrease fatigue and increase alertness, which may seem attractive to an aging person with great time on her hands. These retirees can easily become addicted to amphetamines, especially after experiencing depression, anxiety, eating disorders, sleeping disorders, chronic pain, chronic disease and grief. Drug use that began as a way to self-medicate physical or emotional pain can gradually progress into a serious addiction. What’s worse is mental health problems often result from addiction’s chemical changes in the brain. With an already high-risk for mental health issues among the elderly, retirees are vulnerable to abusing amphetamines.
Specialized Addiction Treatment for Retirees
Amphetamines are incredibly addictive, but many retirees avoid treatment because they are unaware of the signs of addiction, or they are ashamed to admit their problem. In addition, treatment can seem frightening or unobtainable, because these people become so dependent upon a medication that they cannot imagine surviving without the drug. However, substance abuse and addiction are never okay. The consequences will wreak havoc not only on your life, but also the lives of your friends and family.
If you are ready to make the most of your free time during retirement, end substance abuse. For help, call our toll-free helpline and speak with an admissions coordinator who can answer your questions and connect you with the treatment services that are right for your unique needs. Don’t waste another day on addiction; call today to learn more about your options for recovery.