Alprazolam is in a class of prescription drugs called benzodiazepines, which are most commonly used to treat anxiety disorders, panic disorders, and seizures. They work by slowing excessive nerve activity in the brain to offer relief from these conditions.
Unfortunately, they can be addictive. Far from being immune to the disease of addiction, elderly individuals are equally and in some ways more susceptible to it. Benzodiazepines are the most commonly misused and abused prescription drugs, and millions of prescriptions for benzodiazepines are prescribed for older adults each year.
Why Might Retirees Use Alprazolam?
Many people focus on drug problems among younger people, but retirees are not immune to the devastating effects of addiction. While retirees can be any age, the U.S. average age of retirement is 67, meaning that most retirees are facing the challenges that come with aging and may be susceptible to Alprazolam addiction and other drugs misuse due to the following issues:
- Loss of a sense of purpose – Retirement changes an individual’s social and physical activities. People who have spent years going to work every day and interacting with others can lacks goals and structure in their lives. They have free time on their hands and less obligations, which often gives them the opportunity and privacy to develop a drug problem that could easily go unnoticed due to declining health in general or lack of social interaction.
- Emotional pain – Elderly people must face the loss of loved ones and the resulting loneliness, depression, anxiety over change, and health issues. Many turn to Alprazolam for a sense of calm and relief.
- Declining physical and mental health – Elderly people may decide to self-medicate with Alprazolam to deal with a range of issues from physical pain to memory problems. The decline in mental faculties and forgetfulness can also result in unintentionally misusing Alprazolam. Metabolism slows down with age, making the elderly more vulnerable to the drug’s effects.
- Access to prescription drugs – Due to increasing health problems, many elderly people have access to prescription medications that treat both physical and psychological issues and can have little accountability. Health problems may serve to mask Alprazolam abuse.
How Does Alprazolam Abuse Affect Retirees?
Some of the issues that can result from long-term Alprazolam use include:
- Mood swings
- Impaired coordination
- Short-term memory loss
- Muscle twitching
- Slowed reflexes
- Liver and kidney damage
Retirement can worsen existing substance abuse issues, and Alprazolam use can in turn exacerbate physical and mental health problems.
How Can Retirees Address Substance Abuse and Addiction Issues?
Due to a generational reluctance to discuss issues such a drug addiction, many elderly people are disinclined to seek the help that they need. Some of them may desire help but feel it is too late for them to recover. But it is never too late to seek help for Alprazolam addiction. Elderly individuals experience just as much success in professional treatment programs as younger patients. Individualized treatment plans can ensure that every retiree gets the help he needs to live the rest of his life free of Alprazolam addiction.
Help for Alprazolam Addiction
If you or a loved one is addicted to Alprazolam, call our toll-free helpline to speak with an admission coordinator about your treatment options. We are available 24 hours a day to help you find the treatment program that works for you. Please call today.