They are generally more prone to heart and lung disease, memory problems, and mood disorders. If a person begins using chemical substances at an early age, they are also significantly more likely to develop an addictive disorder during adulthood.
Substance Use Facts & Statistics
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the use of illicit drugs often declines once a person reaches adulthood. However, close to 1 million people over the age of 65 are living with a diagnosable substance use disorder. Between the years 2000 and 2012, the rate of older adults seeking treatment for a substance use disorder increased from 3.5 percent to 7 percent of the total demographic. This is partially due to high prescription rates among older adults. NIDA reports that one study, which involved 3,000 participants between the ages of 57 and 85, found roughly 80 percent were taking at least one medication on a daily basis. If you are over the age of 55 and you have been struggling with substance use disorder of any type or severity, we are available to help. Contact us today to begin.
Am I a Functioning Alcoholic or Addict?
Some people who develop an addictive disorder later on in life fail to seek the help they need because they do not recognize that substance use has become an issue. Addiction affects different people in different ways. Some people experience severe and devastating personal consequences as a direct result of their substance use. Others use substances for an extended period of time with little to no consequences, and eventually find themselves in a place of mental and emotional turmoil. What does it mean to be a “functional” alcoholic or addict? It essentially means that you continue keeping up with your day-to-day responsibilities, and the people who you frequently interact with might be in the dark about your struggles with addiction. Most “functional” alcoholics and addicts find that the consequences associated with their substance use are largely internal. If you have a beautiful home, a loving family, a high-powered career and an impressive wardrobe, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you are thriving in all areas of life. Maybe you pop pills throughout the day to cope with chronic pain, or drink a significant amount of alcohol every evening in an attempt to “unwind” after a busy day. No matter what substance use looks like for you, we are available to help.
Benefits of Getting Sober Later in Life
Why is it a good idea to get sober later on in life? Because addiction is a progressive medical condition, associated symptoms will only continue to worsen the longer they are left untreated. Coming to terms with an addictive disorder later on in life might prove challenging, but the longer you brush it under the rug, the more consequences you will inevitably face. It is certainly never “too late” to get sober.