New drug statistics show that the number of painkiller-addicted seniors is on the rise. USA Today published a study conducted by Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) that found that the number of senior citizens addicted to painkiller and anxiety medication has tripled in the last decade. This goes to show that the prescription drug epidmic is leaving no demographic unaffected.
The drug statistics collected showed that 1 in 4 adults, 50+ primarily use opioids for joint pain and benzodiazepines for anxiety. In addition to habit-forming risks, the drugs can cause disorientation and imbalance, increasing the risk of falling. At high doses, a combination of the drugs can impair respiratory function, which can be fatal for a senior weakened with illness.
Last year, 55 million opioid prescriptions were written for people 65+ (that’s a 20 percent increase in just five years). Emergency room visits from the misuse of these prescribed drugs climbed more than 50 percent from 2007 to 2011. And the number of people from this demographic, seeking susbtance abuse treatment from this period increased 46 percent.
There main challenged with this demographic are doctors without the proper training in addiction, trying to treat ailing patients with highly addictive drugs. The second problem is the stigma that surrounds the older population. Thse are difficult drugs to get off of and many people find it difficult to take away an older, ailing person’s medication.
Here are some warning signs that an older family member or friend may have a prescription drug abuse problem:
- Changes in sleep patterns and/or appetite that cannot be attributed to other reasons
- Increased falling
- Frequently changing physicians or “doctor shopping” to get multiple prescriptions
- Filling prescriptions at multiple pharmacies
- New onset irritability or agitation
- Periods of confusion
- Empty liquor bottles in the garbage or recycling bucket.
When it comes to drug use statistics, research by the the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has shown that positive parenting skills considerably helps prevent drug and alcohol abuse. Of course all parents want their kids to live healthy and happy lives, but it’s not always easy to tell what you kids are up to as they get older. Parents might wonder whether their kids have experimented or begun to use drugs, alcohol, tobacco, or prescription drugs. Read more →
Coping with stress can make a huge difference in how you are able to manage your life and health. Stress is a normal reaction, and for most of us, it is an unavoidable fact of life. But learning how to identify and manage the stress in your life will help make sure that chronic stress doesn’t wreak havoc on your health and happiness.
Chronic stress isn’t just a mental strain. It can affect your physical well-being as well as your emotional. Here are some signs of chronic stress:
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If you are concerned about your teen or young adult’s drug or alcohol use, pay close attention to warning signs of abuse or those most at risk for abuse. Teens or young adults who are most at risk for substance abuse, tend to demonstrate the following red flags:
1. Risk taking. Especially when coupled with boredom. Try to encourage your kid to engage in healthy challenges that involve risk taking such as learning a new sport or activity, so drugs or alcohol isn’t used to fill that boredom and achieve a high associated with risk taking. Read more →
There are a few substance abuse red flags to keep an eye out for among healthcare professionals who may be abusing drugs. Substance abuse among healthcare professionals is currently a major concern. Studies estimate that more than 100,000 healthcare workers struggle with substance abuse, often times right under the noses of their coworkers. If you are a healthcare worker be on the lookout for these common signs that a coworker might be abusing drugs. Read more →
On June 24th, ExecuCare’s Dr. Jacquie Damgaard discussed “NTR Brain Restoration: Breakthrough in Long-Term Recovery” on The Micheal Hilton Health and Recovery Radio Show. It’s a “fascinating, amazing breakthrough program in addiction detox,” Dr. Damgaard said of NTR Brain Restoration. “It’s remarkable when you witness someone going through the program. There’s nothing subtle about it.” Read more →