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Like other age groups, older adults are often reluctant to seek help with addictions due to the perception of stigma and shame, and generational effects may render these perceptions more potent than among younger groups.  A mature track treatment would be the preference for some adults who seek more individualized treatment.  The Mature Track is a substance abuse older adults in a treatment program designed for people aged 35 and above.  These adults tend to have a much different lifestyle than their younger peers, so their treatment should also reflect these differences.

People aren’t static, which tells us never to give up hope when dealing with an addicted loved one, no matter how desperate the happenings seem to be.

Older Adults in Treatment
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It is also recommended that older adults integrate cognitive-behavioral therapy, smoking cessation techniques, and prescription drug addiction treatment.  In addition, suggested practices include wrap-around services that specifically address older adults’ unique needs, such as inadequate availability of primary care, housing assistance, and transportation to and from treatment.

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a type of evidence-based therapy based on the concept that one’s thoughts cause behaviors and feelings instead of outside stimuli such as situations, events, or people.  For instance, a person who is dependent on drugs or alcohol may be unable to change their circumstances, but what can be changed is how they think about them.  The idea is that if the person changes the way they feel and behave, they can overcome the addiction.  As a method for treating alcohol and drug addiction, the therapist’s goal of using CBT is to teach the individual to recognize certain situations in which they are most likely to use drugs or abuse alcohol and avoid them.

Smoking Cessation Treatment

Smoking cessation treatment consists of three phases: preparation, intervention, and maintenance.  The practice aims to increase the smoker’s motivation to quit and build confidence to be successful.  Intervention can take any number of forms (or a combination of them) to help smokers achieve abstinence.  Finally, maintenance, including support, coping strategies, and substitute behaviors, is necessary for permanent abstinence.  Although most smokers successfully quit doing so on their own, many use cessation programs at some point during their smoking history.  Moreover, many people act on the advice of a health professional in deciding to quit.

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Age-Specific Practices

With the aging of the population, it would seem prudent for centers to more widely adopt age-specific practices to meet the needs of older adults and draw them into treatment.  As more adults in mid-and later life will seek help with a myriad of SUDs over the next decade, substance abuse treatment centers need to get ready to face a plethora of challenges as well as unique growth opportunities.  [1]

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), 7.9 million adults suffered from co-occurring disorders in 2014.  [2]  The administration assessed the following groups as being at the highest risk of dual diagnosis:

  • The homeless community
  • Veterans
  • Those in the criminal justice system

For the homeless or in the criminal justice system, the causal relationship may be different from veterans’, and it should be noted that there is some significant overlap in these three groups.

 Older Adults in Treatment for Alcoholism

Family history contributes significantly to alcoholism.  A host of genetic interactions increase the risk of excessive alcohol consumption.  Alcoholism can affect all aspects of a person’s life.  In the United States, at least one in 12 adults suffers from alcohol dependence and abuse.  Unfortunately, most people do not treat alcohol addiction as seriously as addiction to other drugs.  [3]

Approximately 88,000 adults in America die every year due to excessive consumption of alcohol.  Alcoholism is one of the leading lifestyle-related causes of death.  In addition, it can lead to diseases and social problems including;  psychiatric problems, dementia, increased threat of throat and liver cancer;  ulcers, bone loss, impaired vision, lowered immunity, sexual issues, congenital disabilities, neglect of family and work responsibilities;  hypertension, cardiovascular abnormalities, anti-social behavior, and depression.  Alcoholism is more about a person’s inability to control their drinking habits and not how long they have been drinking; or what kind of alcohol they have been drinking.

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We Level Up NJ Adults Treatment Center for Addiction

At We Level Up NJ, we consider addiction a three-fold disease: a physical allergy, a mental obsession, and a spiritual malady.  Our dedicated team of trained professionals will evaluate the needs of our clients by working with them on a one-on-one basis and will then customize a program of recovery that will heal them in Body, Mind, and Spirit.

By emphasizing the spiritual aspect of recovery, we go a step beyond the typical approach to treatment—and it’s a big step.  Spiritual practice requires a nourishing environment of love and compassion, with professionals grounded in clinical therapy and a deep understanding of matters of the heart and spirit.  That’s where the pain is, and that’s where the solution lies.

We offer quality, effective treatment to individuals, especially adults, who want to overcome their addiction to alcohol and other drugs.

Additionally, to help you find and maintain sobriety, we favor a personalized approach to care.  From the moment you begin with us, our counselors will help you find a path that fits with your background, your substance(s) of choice;  your lifestyle, your interests, and your unique needs.

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To best customize our services to your needs, our programming includes:

  • Family Therapy
  • Individual Therapy
  • Humanistic Therapy
  • Group Addiction Therapy
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Mindfulness Training for Stress Reduction

If you or a loved one is dealing with an addiction to alcohol or other drugs, especially if you have experienced multiple relapses in the past, then look no further.  Instead, please speak with us today to learn more about our mature track programs for older adults in treatment.

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Begin with a free call to an addiction & behavioral health treatment advisor. Learn more about our dual-diagnosis programs. The We Level Up treatment center network delivers recovery programs that vary by each treatment facility. Call to learn more.

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Sources:

 [1] Substance Abuse Treatment for Older Adults in Private Centers – National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine
[2] Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders – Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration
[3] Understanding Addiction – National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence INC.