Morphine Addiction in the Elderly

One of the most widely discussed topics in today’s culture is the baby boomers. Information about their net worth, their life experiences during very tumultuous times in our history, and the increasing demands that this population is putting on today’s society are discussed in all forms of media. However, one topic that has not been as visible is the increasing number of addicts among the senior population.

According to the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP), about 17 percent of Americans age 60 and older misuse prescription drugs, alcohol or both. With morphine addiction being considered the standard for treatment of severe pain, it is one of the many pharmaceutical products that seniors are addicted to. With the senior population accounting for more than 14 percent of our total population, the impact of elderly drug addiction has implications in every part of our lives. As far back as 1969, health problems related to substance abuse cost Medicare alone well over $233 million per year; with that segment of the population increasing steadily, the expenditures are even more significant today.

Morphine and the Senior Population

There are many situational and emotional variables that could lead any person to abuse prescription medications. It has been proven that stress significantly increases the risk of morphine drug abuse. It has also been proven that previous drug use in their younger life is a clear indicator for drug abuse in their senior years. For the elderly, some of these stressors include:

  • Aging and retirement
  • Depression and loneliness associated with the loss of loved ones and acquaintances
  • Confusion and anxiety associated with not feeling a sense of purpose in life
  • Chronic pain

Causes of Morphine Abuse

While each individual case of senior drug addiction is unique, there are some trends or indicators for the group as a whole, including:

  • Incorrectly following the instructions on the medication bottle, either because they do not fully understand the instructions or because the prescribed dosage is not offering the results they want
  • Mixing medications or forgetting to take medicines
  • Striving to appear independent and thus not asking for assistance

Identifying Morphine Abuse in the Elderly

Family members and physicians often struggle with identifying prescription drug abuse in seniors. Many times, seniors will hide their abuse by visiting several different doctors and not fully informing the doctors of their current prescription intake. If they are successful in acquiring multiple prescriptions from different sources, the senior may send different family members to retrieve the medication and reduce the chance that any one family member has a complete picture of the drug use.

Get Help for Morphine Addiction

Identifying someone with a prescription drug addiction, including morphine, is difficult to do, especially if the person is a family member or friend. However, it is possible and we can help. Please call our toll free number today at (877) 259-5633. We are available 24 hours a day to answer any questions you might have about Morphine addiction treatment. We are here to help.