With the opioid epidemic across America and alcohol intake by our college student population perpetually high, it is easy to not think about substance abuse as a condition frequently affects older adults. The truth is, however, substance abuse is not reserved solely for our younger citizens. Seniors face a variety of health problems than can lead to opioid use and/or self-medication through alcohol. Veterans in particular have an unusually high rate of abuse and that percentage is on the rise.
I recently came across Help.org http:www.help.org/about-us/, a non-profit organization that is dedicated to wellness and education regarding substance abuse. After reading about them and what they do, it occurred to me that they face a challenge not unlike those of us in the senior space. Like aging, substance abuse is something that starts slow (in many cases) and progresses. Over time you become dependent and abuse takes over your life. Similarly getting old is not something that happens overnight. You live your life and before you know it your kids are grown and pop-up ads for senior discounts start being a part of your Internet browsing experience!
Aging and dependence share another eventuality. Both are things one would rather not address. Who wants to admit they have a drug or alcohol problem? Who wants to admit they are getting old and losing their independence? I speak to groups of adult children and older adults frequently and use the phrase “don’t wait!” What I mean by that is, be proactive to address your aging (or any challenge you face) and you will thank yourself later.
So, if you struggle with addiction (or getting old) take the step and seek out assistance that can make the journey easier to live with. You can call on Caring Companions of Atlanta to help with your aging care planning…and help.org should substance abuse be part of your life. It is truly a step you will thank yourself down the road!
Thanks Help.org for caring and trying to “do the right thing!”