What Is The Better Treatment Model For Substance Abuse For Older Adults?

What is the better treatment model for substance abuse for older adults? Cognitive, medical, and counseling combined.

An untold number of senior adults are affected by drug use disorders throughout Ontario, Canada. Online substance abuse counseling can do wonders in helping these individuals break free of addiction. But what is the better treatment model for substance abuse for older adults?

Inpatient Versus Outpatient

Older adults face greater risks throughout their addiction and substance use and abuse than their younger, healthier counterparts. In many cases, a senior might need inpatient treatment in the beginning of the recovery journey. Residential care can help to address both alcohol and drug abuse.

Online Substance Abuse Counseling

For many older adults, in-patient treatment isn’t possible. They may not qualify, or the cost may deter them if they’re living on a fixed income. Online substance abuse counseling for seniors in Ontario, Canada, can be combined with medication-assisted therapy for a comprehensive and holistic treatment plan.

What Causes Addiction In Seniors?

There is no singular cause of addiction in anyone. However, older people may find themselves drawn to an escape when facing life changes that come with age. This might include retirement, physical struggles, psychological changes, or the loss of a spouse, partner, or close friend. Seniors typically don’t seek drugs as a means of getting high but instead a way to self-medicate and numb the emotional issues that come with age.

Signs Of Substance Abuse In Seniors

If you are a senior or know a senior that you suspect may be using or abusing drugs, it pays to know the signs. These can include:

  • Unusual sleep habits. Seniors using drugs may sleep more or less than usual or choose to sleep during unconventional times, such as during the day.
  • Memory problems. Although cognitive decline is common in seniors, sudden memory loss should be checked out by healthcare providers as it may also be a sign of drug use.
  • Depression. There are many reasons that a senior might become depressed. However, many individuals undergoing online substance abuse counseling report feelings of depression and even guilt when using drugs.
  • Poor hygiene. People in a heavy addiction pattern may forget to wash themselves, brush their teeth, or change their clothes.
  • Lack of communication. Many seniors in addiction tend to isolate themselves from their friends and family. They may feel shame for what they are doing, or they could be so focused on their drug of choice that they think their communication has been more frequent than it has.

It’s important to note that any of the above symptoms may also be a sign of cognitive decline or other health conditions that come with age. 

What Does A Detox Program Look Like?

Seniors addicted to opioids may need to undergo a general detox program prior to online substance abuse counseling. This may be a 48 to 72-hour in-patient stent in a controlled clinical environment. Detox begins with an evaluation where the senior will also be assessed for co-occurring issues, including grief, depression, and health problems. The senior will then be stabilized and may be administered detox medications to reduce withdrawal symptoms. Once detox is complete, they may be offered assistance to help with transitioning into a residential or outpatient treatment center.

Those seeking online substance abuse counseling for themselves or a senior friend or relative might want to consider the possibility of an intensive detox program first. However, ongoing counseling is one of the best ways to prevent relapse and help seniors live out their golden years with a clear head and a happy heart.

Aegis Medical offers online opioid addiction treatment for those suffering from addiction. When you choose Aegis Medical, you can use your own pharmacy, benefit from our board-certified expertise, and receive treatment anywhere from a judgment-free practitioner whose sole purpose is to help you walk your recovery journey with confidence. Aegis Medical is PIPEDA compliant and accepts OHIP. Our team is ready to help you take the first step toward recovery today!