Refer older clients with cognitive impairment for further cognitive testing and evaluation to make sure they receive the correct diagnosis. Pseudoephedrine is the active ingredient in the decongestant Sudafed Sinus Congestion 24 Hour and in many generic decongestants. According to Albert, many other sleep aids on the market contain diphenhydramine. Use them under doctor’s orders and only for the length of time the doctor advises.

  • Alcohol can interact dangerously with medications taken by older adults, including over-the-counter drugs, herbal remedies, and prescriptions.
  • Flonase (fluticasone) and Rhinocort (budesonide) also treat congestion but can increase eye pressure in people with glaucoma.
  • This is not a complete list of side effects and other serious side effects or health problems that may occur because of the use of this drug.
  • Understanding relationships and emotions are crucial given their evolutionary significance and contributions to health and well-being [5,6].
  • Because alcohol increases GABA levels, drinking can have a relaxing effect on the body.

Though this study included adults in general, not just older adults, the results may have implications on older adults who access social media. Older adults with solid religious affiliations reported unmet spiritual needs leading to social isolation and sadness[2]. Moreover, physical distancing led to stress factors such as helplessness, concerns related to dependency and timely help, and worry about the pandemic and future[19]. One of the primary reasons older people struggle with substance use disorders is a decrease in family support and social interaction as they age. Unfortunately, social isolation is common among older adults as family members and friends move away or pass away.

Singulair Prescriptions

If constipation is a problem, drink more water, eat more fiber, and get daily exercise. Reach out to your doctor about prescription or nonprescription options you can try if lifestyle remedies aren’t working for you. As a result, Albert suspects unintentional misuse of nonprescription drugs may be at play among many older adults. Because products are marketed toward symptom relief rather than active ingredients, people may not realize that two OTC medications—say, one for cough and one for congestion—contain the same active ingredient. A recent review of over two dozen studies found that people aged 60 and older rely more heavily on over-the-counter (OTC) drugs than younger adults, often without realizing that they come with health risks and side effects. Illicit drug use is generally more prevalent in the US than in the other countries8.

emotional effects of substance abuse in older adults

When seniors lack meaningful relationships or become socially isolated, it can lead to feelings of loneliness, which increases their risk for developing mental health issues like depression – all of which can contribute to higher rates of substance abuse. Given the intersectoral nature of social disadvantages, and to promote social justice and equity, substance use needs to be viewed as a consequence of other factors. Nurses and other health care providers need to remind themselves that substance use can vary depending on social, historical, and economic contexts, and that the consequences of substance use are often shaped by social inequities based on gender, age, and/or income (Varcoe et al., 2018). Health care providers are encouraged to assess substance use comprehensively within the context of these various intersecting factors influencing health and access to health care services for their specific patient population (Anderson et al., 2009; Varcoe et al., 2018).


Because of the brief nature of the CAGE-AID, it can be a useful screening tool; but it should not be a substitute for a more thorough assessment, such as consumption levels, consequences of use, and functional deficits. Research has found several behavioral therapies that have promise for treating individuals with co-occurring substance use and mental disorders. Health care providers may recommend behavioral therapies alone or in combination with medications. Substance use disorder (SUD) is a treatable mental disorder that affects a person’s brain and behavior, leading to their inability to control their use of substances like legal or illegal drugs, alcohol, or medications. Symptoms can be moderate to severe, with addiction being the most severe form of SUD.

  • The health implications of substance abuse disorder are more significant for older people.
  • Other drugs, such as opioids and benzodiazepines can cause or exacerbate respiratory depression.
  • Alterations in these biological pathways are predicted to influence the development (i.e., morbidity) and/or course (i.e., mortality) of disease.
  • Meta-analytic evidence suggests that relationship processes such as social support are among the strongest predictors of health; an association that is comparable to well-established risk factors such as smoking and physical activity [7].
  • Loneliness, the subjective feeling of being alone, has physical and mental health effects in older adults.

Excerpts from testimonials submitted to the F.D.A. in 2022 before a meeting of experts studying how montelukast impacts the brain. Singulair, now a generic, is still used by millions of people in the United States even after thousands of patients and dozens of studies have described harm. Although it may appear benign if an older relative nods off during a discussion more frequently, think about the likelihood that they could have been under the influence. Also, if your family members’ sleeping patterns alter significantly without them being ill, it may be an indication of drug dependency. Get a solid grounding in Social Security, including who is eligible, how to apply, spousal benefits, the taxation of benefits, how work affects payments, and SSDI and SSI.

Can Alcohol Cause Aging?

Recent models on the social regulation of emotions are an important conceptual development [24,96]. This work and relevant models also need to incorporate the shift over time in relationships and emotion regulation strategies in older adults [59,97]. Information about NIMH, research results, summaries of scientific meetings, and mental health resources. Find out how NIMH engages a range of stakeholder organizations as part of its efforts to ensure the greatest public health impact of the research we support.

Participants identified that continuing their social relationships and following activity restrictions were their significant challenges related to physical distancing[19]. Participants also reported stress related to missed social interactions with family and friends, especially grandchildren, and canceled social events[19]. Kim and Jung[32] analyzed the link between social isolation and mental wellbeing in older adults from 62 countries who responded to an online survey, ‘Global Behaviors and Perceptions in the COVID-19’. The survey[32] response supported social isolation related to physical distancing and its association with psychological distress. Since social connectedness positively impacts health and longevity[33-35], appropriate interventions to improve social connectedness while maintaining physical distancing were essential. In a longitudinal study among community-dwelling older adults in Japan, Fujita et al[12] compared the participant’s mental health before and during the pandemic.

Combining multiple years of NSDUH data allows substance use among older adults to be examined in greater detail by improving the precision of estimates for making statistical comparisons. TEDS data provide information on admissions to substance abuse treatment in 2012, and DAWN data provide information on drug-related ED visits in 2011. WHO-WMH data from 17 countries (India excluded) show that estimated lifetime prevalence and projected lifetime risk at age 75 of any anxiety disorder is as high as that of any mood disorder in many countries.

It’s essential for family members and physicians alike to educate seniors on proper medication usage and side effects so they can avoid any potential misuse down the line. Substance use can affect people of all ages; however, the prevalence of substance use in older adults is very difficult to estimate (Benyon, 2009; Canadian Centre on Substance Use & Addiction, 2018; Han, Gfroerer, Colliver, & Penne, 2009; Varcoe, Browne, & Michaelson, 2018). One of the reasons for this is that the current diagnostic criteria for substance use issues may not be appropriate for this population. Due to the difficulties in assessing substance use disorders in older adults, there are no current projected estimates in Canada (Canadian Centre on Substance Use & Addiction, 2018), implying that more attention needs to be paid to this problem of substance use in the ageing population. Older adults have lower prevalence of substance use than younger adults, which may lead clinicians to think that older adults do not use psychoactive substances or develop SUD. Furthermore, recent cohorts of individuals ages 65 and older tend to show a higher prevalence of lifetime substance use than that seen in prior generations (Chhatre et al., 2017).

History of Alcohol Problems

Read our copyright policy to learn more about our guidelines for reusing NIMH content. Find the latest NIH and NIMH policies, guidance, and resources for clinical research. Caregivers may carry out these activities intermittently, part time, or full time, including from a distance. Help with instrumental ADLs, substance abuse in older adults such as transportation, housework, food preparation, shopping, using communication devices, and managing finances. Supply informational materials in your program’s waiting room and meeting rooms (e.g., bulletin board or display case flyers, brochures, handouts) and offer these resources to your clients.

Categories: Sober living

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