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It’s Never Too Late in Life to Achieve Recovery from Opium

It’s Never Too Late in Life to Achieve Recovery from Opium

There is no such thing as an age that is “too late” for recovery

Addiction is often seen as a disease for the young and reckless, but this misconception harms adults who continue to struggle with substance abuse or adults who are just reaching a time in their lives when opiate use becomes a problem. Misconceptions and stigmas harm those who need or are seeking help, as older adults may not believe they are struggling with addiction, or they may believe their opportunity for recovery has passed. Anyone can become addicted at any age, but luckily options for recovery are always available.

Addiction in Older Adults

The belief that addiction is a young person’s disease has far-reaching effects. Prevention programs are most often geared towards students, leaving many older adults without information about the dangers of such drugs as prescription opiates and without information about the different and ever-increasing number of treatment options available. These adults grew up in a time when addiction was even more stigmatized than it is now, and thus often struggle in silence out of shame, fear or lack of knowledge. This isolation and lack of support does not have to be the case. Addicted adults are not alone. According to the University of Pennsylvania’s Health System (UPHS), in 2003 there were, “2.5 million older adults with an alcohol or drug problem” (“Addiction in Older Adults”), and The Fix explains that, “the prediction is that five million older adults will need treatment in 2020” (“When Old Age and Addiction Collide,” 2012). Addicted adults are not alone in their struggles. Addiction problems are real, but there are also real opportunities to reach out and get help.

Opiates and Adults

Older adults are often prescribed a staggering number of drugs, and these drug regimens often include opiates for pain, partially explaining why opiates are most often the primary drugs of abuse among adults. These substances are dangerous at any age, and the risks only increase over time. UPHS shares, “six to eleven percent of elderly hospital admissions are a result of alcohol or drug problems [as are] 14 percent of elderly emergency room admissions, and 20 percent of elderly psychiatric hospital admissions.” Opiates slow breathing and heart rate, dangerous effects at any age, and too many opiates, or the combination of opiates and alcohol, land many in critical health conditions. Protecting health and having a long, healthy and active adult life involves knowing the risks and knowing how and when to take action.

Resources for recovery are always available. There is no such thing as an age  that is “too late” for recovery. Treatment centers may even offer programs and treatment options that are geared towards specific age groups, and support groups welcome members of all ages and backgrounds. Call our helpline to learn more about the recovery resources that are right for your individual age, personality and place in life. We are here 24 hours a day to make sure you get the customized and effective treatment you need for a long and healthy life at any age.