Are you worried that your elderly loved one is abusing drugs or alcohol? Maybe you think they are acting differently or their personality has changed. Many people think that addictions only happen in younger adults. However, that isn’t the case. Some elderly people will develop an addiction, as well.
Common Drugs Elderly People Abuse
There are some drugs that are commonly abused by elderly people. Knowing what these are can give you an idea of what your elderly loved one might be abusing. These drugs include the following:
- Opioids such as Percocet, oxycodone, hydromorphone, and fentanyl
- Anti-anxiety medications such as Ativan, Valium, Klonopin, or Xanax
While your elderly loved one might have a prescription to one of these and alcohol is legal, that doesn’t mean they aren’t abusing the substance. With this being said, it is important that you and your loved one’s home care services providers are able to spot addiction.
Addiction Signs to Look Out For
There are numerous signs that you might notice if your elderly loved one is abusing drugs or alcohol. Some of the ones that you should watch out for include the following:
- Mood changes
- Saying they lost their prescription
- Dozing off at random times
- Sleeping a lot more than usual
- Lack of focus
- Falling asleep when talking
- Having multiple doctors filling one prescription
- Regular ER visits for pain even when they have a pain prescription already
- Wanting to be by themselves more than they used to
- Lying to loved ones about basic things
- Smelling like alcohol
- Stopped taking care of themselves or their house all of a sudden
If you notice these addiction signs in your elderly loved one, it is time to talk to them. Don’t say anything that could be construed as judgmental. If your elderly loved one shuts down the conversation or gets defensive, this is an indicator that they might have an addiction.
If you think that your elderly loved one is abusing drugs or alcohol, it is important to try talking to them. Let them know that you are there to help and you just want to see to it that they are alright. In many cases, confronting someone who has an addiction to alcohol or drugs won’t go so well. Your elderly loved one might not talk to you about this at all or they might get defensive. However, you should go back and try talking to them again or get someone else to talk to them. Don’t give up on trying to help them.