Benzodiazepine Dependence Treatment for Senior Citizens
As the rates of opioid abuse, dependence, and overdose-related death continue to rise, many of the attention placed on untimely drug overdose deaths is put solely onto drugs like prescription painkillers and heroin. However, over the past several years, overdose rates directly linked to benzodiazepines have also been on the rise. Benzodiazepines are a class of drugs that includes tranquilizers and sleep medications, and they are most commonly used for the treatment of anxiety-related disorders and sleep-related disorders. Some common brand name benzodiazepines include Xanax, Valium, and Klonopin.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse recently reported that over 30 percent of the drug-related overdose deaths that involve opioid narcotics of some kind also include benzodiazepines. Benzodiazepines – also commonly referred to as “benzos” – work by calming a person down and actively reducing anxiety. Because of this, they are appealing to some who take them for non-medical purposes. If an individual develops an opioid dependence or a benzodiazepine dependence, he or she is more likely to abuse more than one prescription medication at a time – increasing the chance of overdose.
Benzodiazepine Abuse and the Elderly
It is important to note that men and women of all ages are susceptible to benzodiazepine addiction and overdose. There is a common misconception that young adults tend to struggle with substance abuse and dependence more frequently than men and women in any other age demographic. While this is the case where drugs like marijuana, hallucinogens, and heroin are concerned, other drugs – like benzodiazepines – are frequently abused by elderly adults as well. Many elderly men and women will be prescribed an anti-anxiety medication or a sleep medication to be taken regularly and will develop a tolerance over time. Rather than consult their prescribing physician, they will up their dosage on their own. Over time, this will inevitably lead to physical and psychological dependence.
There are several ways in which you can identify benzodiazepine dependence in elderly adults. Common symptoms include:
- Regularly taking more than the recommended dose
- Seeing more than one doctor at a time in hopes of obtaining multiple prescriptions
- The building of a physical tolerance
- Experiencing symptoms of withdrawal if the prescription runs out or if use is abruptly ceased
- Spending more time alone, distanced from friends and family members
- Neglecting personal obligations and activities that were previously enjoyed
Age-Specific Benzo Addiction Treatment Options
At Agape Treatment Center, we offer age-specific treatment options to elderly adults who might be struggling with a unique set of issues – many relating to age. It can be difficult for an elderly adult to relate to someone who is under the age of 18, making mixed-age group therapy sessions less productive overall. We understand that men and women of all ages are equally as susceptible to substance abuse and dependence, but that elderly adults face a unique set of circumstances. They have likely already lived through many experiences that young adults cannot relate to, like getting married, raising a family, and experiencing some level of loss (whether it be the loss of a parent or a spouse).
Our age-specific program groups men or women up with others in their same age group, so that they can relate to one another on a deep level and so that they feel more comfortable opening up about underlying issues and personal experiences. Our inpatient treatment program is available to men and women of all walks of life who are looking to overcome benzodiazepine abuse or dependency once and for all and begin living an entirely new way of life.
Overcome Benzo Abuse With Agape Treatment Center
If you have additional questions regarding our age-specific treatment program or about benzodiazepine addiction treatment for elderly adults, please feel free to reach out today. Our treatment advisors are standing by to answer any questions you may have and to get you started on your journey of benzodiazepine addiction recovery as soon as possible.