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Problems Associated With Senior Alcohol Abuse

Aug 22, 2008
There are millions of people in the world who take up an alcohol abuse early on in life. However, they are not able to effectively come out of this dependency even as their years pass on. The time comes when they get into the senior age and still stay with their alcohol abuse. Even if throughout their early years they did not feel any repercussions of their alcoholic habit, it is now that they will begin to feel it in a much pronounced manner.

What we know as senior alcohol abuse is not an abuse that has started in recent years. Most of these cases might be going on since decades. That is one main reason why treating senior alcohol abuse becomes difficult. It is quite tough to remove a decades worth of dependency in a few days. This is a list of some of the main problems that treatment centers that cater to senior alcohol abuse face, and how they try to solve the problems.

1. Long Period of Addiction: This is certainly the main stumbling block. Alcohol has a way of settling in the body in various organs, notable the kidneys and the liver. Alcohol can also convert into fat and settle under the skin of the body causing obesity, which can bring on several problems of its own. This happens when the person continues the addiction for a long period of time. It becomes extremely challenging for the treatment providers to remove something from the body that has become so nicely ensconced within it for so many years. A detox becomes very important.

2. Health Complications: The accumulation of the substance in the body of the person is also a harbinger of several health complications in later life. Alcohol that persists in the liver is a sure cause for getting cirrhosis of the liver at some point in the person's life. Cirrhosis is a fatal condition if left untreated. There are several other complications that might persist in the senior person, which make the alcohol treatment difficult in them.

3. Psychiatric Problems: A large number of senior persons have been known to have some or the other mental problems that either fuel their alcohol abuse or are an effect of it. A good example here is depression. Several persons of an older age suffer from depression due to various factors. They might begin looking upon the addiction as a method out of their emotional condition. They will take alcohol whenever they have a bout of depression and this is what will make them a complete addict. A time will come when they will equate their emotional state with an alcoholic release. However, as time passes by, the alcohol will stop having the kind of effect on the person that it had earlier. Now they will go into further depression because their alcohol use does not allay their emotional state.

Thus, alcoholic problems and emotional conditions have a very deep-seated relation in a senior person. Without bringing the person out of the emotional situation, it will not be possible to find a suitable solution to their addiction. This is where the dual diagnosis treatment approach comes much in handy. Here, the senior person is led through the detox treatment and is then led into psychiatric counseling so that their emotional state is properly assessed and a proper recovery mode is evolved for their purposes.

4. Possibility of Secondary Addictions: Secondary addictions always make addiction treatment difficult, and in senior persons these are almost always present. Alcohol does not retain the same potency as it did for a person in earlier years. This is when the person will begin to look for other methods that might be a potential alternative for their alcohol abuse. Since seniors have a ready availability to several prescription drugs, they might take up abusing them. Many prescription drugs that are meant for therapeutic purposes such as geriatric pain relief can be abused because of their potential addictive capacity. Such supplementary habits can make the addiction treatment quite difficult.

Apart from all these points, senior alcohol abuse is also complicated by the fact that seniors will not be quite willing to go through the entire counseling process. They will have some preconceptions in mind that will make them think differently of their addiction. Also, since they have been with the habit for several years, it is quite possible that they will always remain in a state of denial, come what may. They may never think their addiction to be a problem. This, among other things, makes senior alcohol abuse quite a difficult proposition to tackle.
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Your resource to read more articles on alcohol abuse is here: http://www.thealcoholic.com .
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