Approximately one in five older adults have one or more mental health or substance use conditions. Misusing drugs can sometimes be a special concern amongst this population because they receive a high proportion of prescription drugs due to increased likelihood of being prescribed long term and multiple medications. Age related changes in drug metabolism, possible cognitive decline, and common improper use of mediations also add to this concern. Older adults also experience a myriad of conditions unique to their age group such as complex chronic health conditions, safety concerns such as risk of fall and injury, and loss of spouses, friends, independence, and physical functioning. Elder caregivers, doctors, and the community can work together to care for an aging population. Behavioral health and substance abuse specialists in particular can screen older adults in their care for depression, substance abuse, and anxiety. They can also avoid inappropriately prescribing antipsychotics to alter behavior in older adults with cognitive impairments, and conduct medication reviews and alcohol misuse screenings.
Substance Abuse in the Aging Population
About the Author: Synethia Toms
Synethia is an avid writer and blogger. Synethia holds a B.A. in Political Science from Virginia Tech, and her interests include holistic health, herbology, reading, and human rights. She enjoys live music and plays, spending time in nature, and having fun with her toddler