Approximately 3 million Americans aged 60 or older have an alcohol dependency that requires them to use the substance to function normally, according to Treatment Centers. As alcoholism becomes an alarming problem among the elderly, more individuals may begin to look toward rehabilitation facilities to help their ailing parents.
Researchers say that loneliness is primarily the cause of substance abuse among older adults. Doctors are quick to prescribe medication to the elderly for chronic pain, which puts them into the habit of taking drugs on a routine basis.
Experts emphasize that substance abuse knows no age. Adults are susceptible to becoming dependent on alcohol and drugs at any age. Individuals who suffer from loneliness or depression may also be more vulnerable to developing an addiction to cope with their mental illness.
Family members who are concerned about their loved ones are encouraged to look for symptoms of substance abuse. Irritability, mood swings, periods of confusion and changes in sleeping patterns may be signs of addiction. Rehabilitation facilities can provide individuals with the resources they need to recover and turn their lives around.