Aging & Health A to Z
Drug and Substance Abuse
Lifestyle & Management
Some older people fall into a habit of substance abuse out of boredom. For example, if you have retired and have nothing to do all day, you may find yourself drinking more than before. Joining a senior center or day program or starting new hobbies and activities can eliminate the long hours of free time that increase the risk of returning to the addictive behavior.
Following a nutritious, well-balanced diet and getting regular exercise will encourage you as you regain your overall health. The energy and strength you will gain will increase your confidence and drive to overcome a powerful addiction.
Caregiver and Family Assistance
Sometimes family members or loved ones unknowingly allow an older person to continue their abuse of medications, drugs, or alcohol. Joining a group for family and friends, such as Al-Anon helps caregivers and family members to understand and recognize that their behavior may be harmful, and that they may be acting as an “enabler” unintentionally. These groups also provide a support system for stressed caregivers, offering relief and coping skills, and a chance to share experiences with other people who are in a similar situation.
Community resources can also be found through local religious institutions, libraries, and senior citizens organizations.
Updated: November 2016
Posted: March 2012