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Are You Ever Too Old for Rehab?

Addiction doesn’t just go away on its own. But many older adults may wonder if rehab is only for younger people and fear they’ll feel out of place. Many people may even wonder if they’re too old to get better. The good news is that you’re never too old to seek a sober, healthy life. If you have more questions about what it’s really like to go to rehab, call our helpline today 800-721-8114.

Who Goes to Treatment?

Anyone with a substance abuse problem belongs in treatment. It doesn’t matter how old you are, your gender, your income level, career, religion or your sexual orientation. Drug rehab centers are committed to wanting to see everyone live a happier, more productive life. It may seem true that some rehab facilities are geared more toward specific groups of people. But if you find one center that doesn’t seem to suit you, that just means you need to look for a different center.

How Common is Substance Abuse Among Older Adults?

Too Old for Rehab

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According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Treatment Episode Data Set, drug abuse among older adults is increasing. The proportion of admissions to drug rehab centers among adults age 45 and older increased from 19 percent in 2003 to 26 percent in 2013. Drug abuse admissions are increasing in adults under age 29 and in those over 45 years old. Substance abuse problems can occur at any age.

What Kind of Specific Treatment Facilities Exist?

There are many different types of drug rehab centers. In general, you will have more options for treatment centers if you can pay for private facilities. When you are able to pay for private treatment, you have access to facilities that are specifically geared to different needs. Some drug rehab centers have programs tailored to older adults or segregated by gender. The most important thing is to find a center where you feel comfortable and where you feel you belong.

Is It Ever Too Late for Treatment?

It is never too late for treatment and everyone can benefit from living a sober lifestyle. But years of substance abuse do take a toll on the body. As a result, some people can still face health consequences from years of substance abuse even if they choose to get sober. Alcoholism has multiple stages and late stage alcoholism can have some irreversible effects such as liver disease. Drug abuse also increases the risk for several diseases, including an elevated risk of many types of cancer.

Can I Force My Parent into Treatment?

How to Convince Older Adults to Seek Treatment

Adults over age 60 are one of the fastest growing segments of drug abuse problems. One common reason for this increase is due to the widespread use of prescription pain medication. Your parents may have problems with drug abuse. You have few options to commit them to treatment against their will. Generally, where such options exist, treatment centers can only hold them against their will for 72 hours.

But you can encourage them to seek treatment on their own. Some things you can do to try to urge them to go to treatment include the following:

  • Talk to them about seeking treatment at a time when they are suffering from bad effects of their substance abuse. This may be when they’re hung over if they’re dealing with alcohol abuse or when they’re experiencing withdrawal from prescription opiates.
  • Allowing them to face the consequences of their own drug abuse. Many families unintentionally enable their loved ones’ addictions by protecting them from the consequences, which only prolongs the behavior.
  • Offer to take them to a 12-step support group or leave pamphlets about recovery where they can read about it at their own pace.
  • Ask for help from a qualified addiction specialist. If you need advice about how to encourage an older adult in your life to seek treatment, call our helpline at 800-721-8114 today.
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