Robert Henslee

SFYB Founder

Opiate Dependence among the Elderly

young-nurse-blanketing-elderly-lady becoming most viewed Substance Abuse sites in the nation click here and learn more.

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5) Substance Abuse on the Rise Among Elderly

When most people think of the words “drug addict,” they picture a young person who began using drugs recreationally but developed a serious problem. However, the picture of drug addiction in the United States is changing. Recent figures from the National Institute on Drug Abuse indicate that rates of opiate abuse have quadrupled since 1999. Much of this increase in opiate addiction stems from elderly individuals addicted to prescription opiate painkillers. This has profound implications for the elderly and addiction treatment.

Prevalence of Opiate Dependence among the Elderlyistockphoto_16087821-group-of-senior-people

In 2013, approximately 2 million Americans suffered from prescription drug abuse, reports the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. In many ways, this is unsurprising, as there are enough opiate painkiller prescriptions for each American adult to be medicated every 4 hours for a month. Older adults are disproportionately affected by prescription painkillers. Although elderly people represent just 13% of the U.S. population, they account for nearly 33% of spending on prescription opiates, reports the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

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Pain issues are common among the elderly, and prescription painkillers can help. However, these potent drugs are not designed for long term use, as they are highly addictive. As use of prescription pain pills continues, many older adults need to take more of the pills to get the same analgesic effect. Eventually, opiate dependence leaves these elderly people unable to quit using the pain pills.

Special Factors When Considering the Elderly and Addiction Treatmentbutton2

Opiate dependence is under-recognized among elderly individuals, making it essential for accurate diagnosis and treatment planning. The withdrawal from opiates can be physically taxing for people of any age; common symptoms include nausea, vomiting, insomnia, diarrhea, muscle aches, and anxiety. For older adults, these symptoms can be medically dangerous.


Unfortunately, most drug rehabilitation facilities do not have appropriate medical assistance available to help older adults through the challenging withdrawal process. In particular, the elderly should have continual monitoring of blood pressure and cardiac issues to prevent dangerous complications. This makes professional medical supervision essential for safe outcomes for elderly people dealing with opiate addiction.

Individualized Treatment Is Needed to Help Elderly People with Addiction Issues159565-849x565r1-Elderly-women

A one-size-fits all is inadequate to address the unique medical needs of older adults who are opiate dependent. At the Waismann Method Medical Group in Southern California, each patient receives an individualized treatment plan based on his or her unique medical and psychological situation. Located in an accredited, full service hospital, the Waismann Method Center ensures that patients have access to the professional medical monitoring needed to ensure safe outcomes for opiate detoxification.

At the Waismann Method Center, older patients often receive modified opiate medical detoxification protocols based on their age, health, medical history, and dependence severity. Each patient enjoys a private room, preserving dignity and privacy during the difficult detox process. Following medical opiate detox at the hospital, patients are transferred to the exclusive Domus Retreat for post-detox care. Here, clients receive individualized treatment to help them weather the early days of recovery, when many elderly individuals feel most vulnerable. Throughout this process, the Waismann Method Medical Group is committed to providing safe, compassionate, and high quality care.

One of the largest barriers to addiction treatment among the elderly is stigma and a sense of shame about opiate dependence. The Waismann Method Center provides the compassionate, private care that allows older adults to reach out for the treatment they deserve.




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Robert Henslee
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I am the CEO & Founder of Stop Frying Your Brain which is my pet project. I have many other concerns as well. I enjoy the title usually of "CCO" Chief Content Officer and others with many companies. This is a five year project and I'm about half way of year three. My user community of 175,000 define the build as this is a community asset. We had 4 to 6 million unique views in 2016 depending on which set of analytics you wish to believe. We switched servers several times and lost much of the raw data.

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Filed under: AddictionAddiction ElderlyDrug AddictionMentally illOpiates