Studies show that about 8% of all people treated for narcotics, painkiller or heroin addiction in 1996 were from the 50 to 59-year-old age bracket. That number increased to 36% by 2012 and remains on the increase today
Senior Citizens are at Risk
Senior citizens are the age group most likely to receive long-term prescriptions or to consume multiple medications. They’re the most likely to suffer from chronic pain, and high exposure to prescription drugs increases their chances of accidental misuse and addiction. It can result in poor health, pain, emotional problems and difficulty with daily activities such as walking, shopping and socializing.
Middle-Age Women Are More at Risk than Men
Women are more likely to have chronic pain and be prescribed prescription pain relievers and can be given higher doses and use them longer. Women also tend to treat other problems like anxiety or tension. As for women, they have a higher percentage of body fat which can affect the distribution of certain drugs within the body, and with chronic use, it can lead to an increase of drugs in the fatty tissues, and possibly have a toxic effect.
How it can Hurt You
You can be addicted to these medications which can amplify other health conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure and can lead to more rapid cognitive decline. Also, medications for age-related health conditions, once interacted with these drugs can lead to dangerous side effects.
How can you help yourself
- If you are taking medication and finding yourself needing to increase your dosage in order to manage your chronic pain, you would need to talk to someone and ask for other options.
- Seek help through your workplace within your Employee Assistance Program or via Counseling.
- There are other drugs that can be effective alternatives from opioids. Seek alternative treatments.
- Recognized that you need help and ask for intervention.
Written by Stuart Bold