In so many cases, the relationship they have with the substance is to help cope with one of these on-going issues. As time goes forward, the issue becomes worse, and it becomes more difficult to stop using. Drug and alcohol treatment centers for seniors are specifically set up to treat this age demographic. Some senior adults may not feel comfortable within a traditional drug rehab center, with people more than half their age. Unfortunately, with many senior adults, there is no goal to become abstinent from drugs as they are getting on in life and see the drugs as the only way they can live longer. Granted, this is not always the case but is a major contributing factor that keeps senior adults on the drugs they are taking. Screening for a drug and alcohol treatment center for senior adults is done differently than that of someone in their twenties. Because of potential health risks, there will be greater care needed to help them through detox and treatment. Simply because a person is their sixties, seventies or older does not mean they cannot overcome this type of barrier. Many Canadians are living longer and can attribute a healthy lifestyle in their later years as the reason why. Addiction among senior adults does have some stigma attached to it, but through effective rehabilitation options, this stigma can be stomped out.
Within Canada, a senior citizen could be considered someone who is 65 years old or older, and whether people like to see it or not there is a significantly growing drug problem among this demographic of people. One of the major problems that continually make headlines is drug use among seniors within long-term care facilities. Prescription-drug use is the biggest concern, and in many situations, some senior citizens are on too much medication. Some of the drugs prescribed to seniors cause severe adverse effects, and also physical and mental addiction to the drugs. Many of these problems begin with seniors during a period of change or loss, for example:
- Forced retirement – a person can lose his or her sense of purpose in life, and not end up creating a new purpose after they are forced to retire.
- Loss of loved ones or close friends – as a person becomes older the people around them will end up dying, the individuals they have known all their lives, and this can be difficult to cope with.
- Escalating health concerns – as a person gets older, their physical and mental health will begin to deteriorate, some worse than others. This can be very difficult to deal with, and many end up turning to different medications and drugs to cope with the problem.
- Loss of independence – when a person is forced to retire they may feel they are losing their independence, and this may also be the case if they are forced into a retirement home, and are having someone else take care of them.