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Old 01-07-2019, 11:25 AM
 
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Not sure where else to put this so please move if its not in the place.

We have two people in our family who are over 65 and addicted to opioids/barbituates and alcohol. One is a veteran who gets pain pills like candy from a doctor for "back pain" (which miraculously seems to go away when this person is on a vacation but that is a different topic). The other is an alcoholic/pill addict who has been in and out rehab for decades. Both have had serious accidents while driving under the influence which have harmed themselves and certainly had the potential to hurt/kill others. Both have had erratic behavior and lost money, time and relationships (jobs too in one case) due to the level of their addiction. Both have some additional problems with mental health issues such as depression, histories of sexual abuse, etc. There is a lot to untangle. Both are retired. Relationships with either one are next to impossible as the drug use seems to spike under any sort of condition they percieve as stressful.

You hear so much about teens and young addicts, but is anyone familiar with any type of treatment that might work for an older/approaching elderly addict? The veteran is in strong denial of the problem despite tons of evidence to the contrary-- the other has been in and out of many many programs to no avail. These are middle class people with family support networks. This has been going on for decades and its totally exhausting.
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Old 01-07-2019, 11:32 AM
 
Location: planet earth
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So sorry you are caught up in this. I know how frustrating it is. I don't have answers.

The Salvation Army has free rehab for six months, and there are Christian organizations that also have long-term, free care.

Good luck and try to stay as uninvolved as is possible.
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Old 01-07-2019, 11:45 AM
 
Location: Southern California
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Treatment is out there BUT the addict has to be ready and willing to go.

I just heard a story the other day about a cousin who is about 65 and has had a drinking issue mos t of his life, divorce in recent years and now in jail for a DUI, perhaps this is his bottom.

Many have to hit bottoms and sadly they can hurt others getting there. Sorry but I hear your pain and their terrible pain of addiction.
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Old 01-07-2019, 11:53 AM
 
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Originally Posted by jaminhealth View Post
Treatment is out there BUT the addict has to be ready and willing to go.

I just heard a story the other day about a cousin who is about 65 and has had a drinking issue mos t of his life, divorce in recent years and now in jail for a DUI, perhaps this is his bottom.

Many have to hit bottoms and sadly they can hurt others getting there. Sorry but I hear your pain and their terrible pain of addiction.
After so many many years of doing this, it seems to be a way of life. I honestly think that nothing will change until they are dead. And with the selfishness that is typical of addiction, there is no regard for what they put others through; everyone is against them, they are entitled to ease their pain. There is a bit of "respect your elders and don't tell me what to do" with these people as well. I just wonder if anyone had any creative ideas on treatments or if you know of anyone who is focusing on this population.
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Old 01-07-2019, 12:04 PM
 
Location: planet earth
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The "population" can be accommodated in regular rehabs. I know for a fact that it is - so focusing on their age is not really productive. Try Salvation Army or a long term Christian rehab - I believe they both can accommodate people of age.
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Old 01-07-2019, 12:07 PM
 
Location: Southern California
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Originally Posted by emotiioo View Post
After so many many years of doing this, it seems to be a way of life. I honestly think that nothing will change until they are dead. And with the selfishness that is typical of addiction, there is no regard for what they put others through; everyone is against them, they are entitled to ease their pain. There is a bit of "respect your elders and don't tell me what to do" with these people as well. I just wonder if anyone had any creative ideas on treatments or if you know of anyone who is focusing on this population.
The only creative ideas is for family to become involved in Al Alon and/or AA programs to save themselves from the stress of the addict. The addict is NOT clear minded so forget that. Learn more about addiction and what it is doing to the mind.

AA rooms are full of recovered people as they chose a new life.
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Old 01-07-2019, 12:13 PM
 
Location: Wine Country
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Originally Posted by nobodysbusiness View Post
The "population" can be accommodated in regular rehabs. I know for a fact that it is - so focusing on their age is not really productive. Try Salvation Army or a long term Christian rehab - I believe they both can accommodate people of age.
Why does it have to be Christian? What does the Jew or the Atheist do? Do you really think forcing Jesus on these folks is productive?
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Old 01-07-2019, 12:19 PM
 
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Originally Posted by nobodysbusiness View Post
The "population" can be accommodated in regular rehabs. I know for a fact that it is - so focusing on their age is not really productive. Try Salvation Army or a long term Christian rehab - I believe they both can accommodate people of age.
I am sorry, but I have to disagree-- age is an issue. There have been decades of use and a lifetime of habits built up to continue to use. The brain of a teen or even young adult has not developed fully, where that of a 60 year old is definitely fully formed. Decision making may be different. And, get an addict in their 70s and you may start to have difficulty discerning between dementia and behavior while using. There are many differences, and though some might bristle that an older addict needs different handling than a teen and see it as some sort of discrimination, its clear that what works for many younger people has never worked for them, thus the repetition of the habit into late life.
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Old 01-07-2019, 12:19 PM
 
Location: Wine Country
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Some people cannot be helped. Maybe its faulty brain wiring, or some other mental issue.

I had a best friend who was an alcoholic. We where friends from the age of 15 to 35. She had 4 DUI's that she did time for. She went through the Salvation Army detox and their halfway house twice. She went through the local detox center about 4 times.
The longest she ever stayed sober was 9 months. She told me once that everyday when she drove home from work (she always had decent jobs despite everything else) it took all of her willpower to not pull over and buy booze.
She also loved opioids, especially cough syrup which she carried around in her purse. She used to say when she was high on the cough medicine she did not crave alcohol. She saw it as an improvement. She got into heroin and at that point I stopped being in contact with her - it was the last straw for me. She died a few years ago - I am assuming an overdose.
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Old 01-07-2019, 12:21 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Luckyd609 View Post
Some people cannot be helped. Maybe its faulty brain wiring, or some other mental issue.

I had a best friend who was an alcoholic. We where friends from the age of 15 to 35. She had 4 DUI's that she did time for. She went through the Salvation Army detox and their halfway house twice. She went through the local detox center about 4 times.
The longest she ever stayed sober was 9 months. She told me once that everyday when she drove home from work (she always had decent jobs despite everything else) it took all of her willpower to not pull over and buy booze.
She also loved opioids, especially cough syrup which she carried around in her purse. She used to say when she was high on the cough medicine she did not crave alcohol. She saw it as an improvement. She got into heroin and at that point I stopped being in contact with her - it was the last straw for me. She died a few years ago - I am assuming an overdose.
Very sad. But I think its really true of a lot of addicts-- they die young or younger. It is unusual to have someone with the level of problems that my relatives have who are around into their late 60s. Usually they have killed themselves in an accident or overdose.
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