Drug and Substance Use

Lifestyle & Management

Some older people fall into a habit of increased substance use 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 unintentionally acting as an “enabler.” 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 organizations for older adults. 


Last Updated July 2020

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