The reality is that many older adults are becoming addicted to the medications they are being prescribed—and abusing these substances can often worsen age-related health conditions.
New Port Richey, FL (PRWEB) November 18, 2013
What typically starts with a visit to the doctor for medication to dull pain from arthritis or other aches and pains is now ending with addiction—one of the largest-growing populations of drug-addicted individuals is senior citizens, largely due to prescribed pain medications for common ailments (1).Novus Medical Detox, one of the only Florida-based detox centers serving high-dosage drug abuse patients, says the rising tide of drug addiction among the middle-aged and elderly evidences the strong hold of prescription drugs on American society—but this grip can be loosened by public education on the addictive qualities of drugs.
Data from national surveys show that among those 65 and older, 414,000 used illicit drugs in 2010. Research also reveals a trend for 50- to 59-year-olds: the number of those reporting past-month abuse of illicit drugs—including the non-medical use of prescription drugs—more than doubled from 2002 to 2010, going from 907,000 to 2,375,000, or from 2.7% to 5.8%, in this population (2).
Kent Runyon, Novus Executive Director, says the facility treats a considerable number of elderly patients—at least one-third of Novus’ patient base consists of the middle-aged and/or elderly. And according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) at the National Institutes of Health, the number of older substance abusers could continue to rise due to the aging of the baby boomers, who were more likely than previous generations to have used illicit drugs in their youth (3).
“A common misconception is that substance abuse only affects younger generations,” said Runyon. “But the reality is that many older adults are becoming addicted to the medications they are being prescribed—and abusing these substances can often worsen age-related health conditions.”
To better combat the rise of prescription drug abuse, Runyon maintains that education about the potential side effects of prescription drugs and their addictive qualities is needed. Runyon also maintains that the public must be proactive in ensuring their own health and safety with regard to prescription drugs. Runyon suggests that patients ask their doctors the following questions before taking prescription drugs:
1.Question the diagnosis. Making a diagnosis is something that should not be done within a 5-minute conversation. Make sure the doctor conducted a thorough evaluation, taking into account medical and mental health history, symptoms and relevant test results.
2.“Will there be side effects?” Every drug can cause side effects. But by knowing what symptoms to expect, any abnormal or unexplained symptoms can be easily recognized.
3.“Can a lifestyle alteration have the same effect?” Many mild ailments can often be treated simply—for those with mild depression, exercise can work just as well as an antidepressant; high blood pressure may be reduced simply by lowering one’s sodium intake. And many of those with type 2 diabetes can reverse their condition by losing weight, increasing their activity and cleaning up their diet (4).
Because withdrawal is arguably the most painful and difficult step in any detox and rehabilitation program, the process can lead many people struggling with addiction to avoid it at all costs, despite desiring to return to a sober life.Novus opened its doors with the purpose of fixing the detox process to ensure that anyone could overcome addiction comfortably. The detox center handles the toughest of drug and alcohol cases, many of whom are rejected from other facilities as “too high a risk.” Novus’ I.V. vitamin integration is tailored to each individual’s needs to replenish nutrients lost during drug abuse, allowing Novus to effectively treat high-dose patients. By paying particular attention to strengthening patients’ bodies during the detox process via proprietary medical protocols, medical staff members at Novus say that this aspect is the difference between detox being “too fearful to confront” and returning to a life of sobriety.
Novus advises those who are dependent on any abusive substance(s) to find safe, medically-supervised detox programs, and to use those with integrated medicine that allows the detox process to be as comfortable as possible.
About Novus Medical Detox Center:
Novus Medical Detox Center offers safe, effective alcohol and drug treatment programs in a home-like residential setting. Located on 3.25 tree-lined acres in New Port Richey, Fla., Novus is licensed by the Florida Department of Children and Families as an inpatient medical detox facility. Novus is known for minimizing the discomfort of withdrawal from prescription medication, drugs or alcohol by creating a customized detox program for each patient, incorporating medication, natural supplements and fluid replenishment—putting the dignity and humanity back into drug detoxification. Patients have 24/7 medical supervision, including round-the-clock nursing care and access to a withdrawal specialist, and enjoy comfortable private or shared rooms with a telephone, television, DVD player and high-speed Internet access. Novus’ expansion is tied to their contribution to their industry, ranking number 92 on the 2013 Fast 100 Awards list of fastest growing companies in Tampa Bay; number 4436 on the 2013 Inc. 500/5000 list of fastest-growing companies in America. For more information, visit http://www.novusdetox.com.
1.Shamus, Kristen. “Pain Pills Can Be Prescriptions for Addiction, Death.” Usatoday.com. Gannett, 20 Oct. 2013. Web. 04 Nov. 2013.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/10/20/painkiller-overdoses-addiction/3107879/.
2.“Prescription and Illicit Drug Abuse Increases for Baby Boomers, Senior Citizens.” Cadca.org. CADCA, 21 June 2012. Web. 04 Nov. 2013. cadca.org/resources/detail/prescription-and-illicit-drug-abuse-increases-baby-boomers-senior-citizens.
3.“Prescription and Illicit Drug Abuse Is Timely New Topic on NIHSeniorHealth.gov.” Nih.gov. National Institutes of Health, 06 June 2012. Web. 04 Nov. 2013. nia.nih.gov/espanol/node/10520.
4.Kotz, Deborah. “5 Questions to Ask Your Doctor before You Fill That Prescription.” Health.usnews.com. U.S. News, n.d. Web. 6 Aug. 2013. health.usnews.com/health-news/managing-your-healthcare/slideshows/5-questions-to-ask-your-doctor-before-you-fill-that-prescription/3.