Older Adults Addiction Treatment
As we age, we reach the stage where transitions have occurred in our lives – we start searching for something more or different. The transition point could be the kids leaving the nest, planning for retirement, or reaching the ceiling in your career. You may find yourself asking, What now?
The Evolutions curriculum is designed to help you answer this question and establish a new sober chapter in your life. In addition to live seminars, part of the curriculum includes redefining what addiction looks like in mature adults and understanding why addiction happens faster with this crowd.
Our curriculum is useful and educational, as we’ll discuss how certain medications (even over-the-counter medications) can interact with alcohol, and dive into medication management. We’ll also cover the latest research into Circadian Rhythms and how the circadian process plays a role in sleep hygiene, weight management, and the development of metabolic disorders like diabetes.
Finally, we’ll work together to create a plan to increase feelings of self-purpose through various volunteer efforts, wellness activities, or the development of a new hobby. During this time, you may uncover missed opportunities in life as a result of addiction, and deal with feelings of guilt or shame. We’ll use mindfulness to help move away from these negative feelings and guide you towards a more positive future. For example, activities include creating a personal mission statement, taking a stroll down memory lane to bring happy memories from the past back to the present, and learning how to move things around in your world, so the older physical cues to drinking or using drugs are altered, enhancing your ability to stay sober.
I’ve known people who are 80 years old and have been sober for 60 years. I also know people who are 80 years old and have been sober for one year. It is never too late to get well. If you have years left in your life, make them great! There’s no evidence that says people who are older can’t learn to have a different lifestyle. I don’t want anyone to ever think that their bodies or lives are past the point of help. It always makes sense to get into recovery. And you’ll be amazed at how much easier it is to manage other diseases, like diabetes and heart disease, when drugs and alcohol are taken out of the equation.”
– RCA’s Chief Scientific Officer, Dr. Deni Carise
Addiction’s Impact on Older Adults
RCA also looks at the different ways drugs or alcohol can impact someone. As a person ages and physiological changes happen in both the brain and body, the effects of drug and alcohol change – in fact, their effects can become even stronger. This is why we’ve created Evolutions, a program for adults 50 years old and older.
Older adults need addiction treatment tailored to your unique mental, physical, spiritual, and physiological needs. Alongside of this, we also understand your comfort is important, too. That’s why everything in this program was created with your needs in mind, from a curriculum that is centered around this distinct stage of life to thoughtful logistics, like brightly lit living areas and having a nurse’s station nearby.
Even if your addiction didn’t cost you everything, your life could be so much better without it. And, if it did cost you everything, it isn’t too late. I’ve seen many families reunited, even when the parent is in their 80s, as a result of getting into recovery. Even if you lost a lot, you can get some of it back. You just have to take that first step.”
– says Dr. Deni Carise
Adjusting Our Treatment to Your Needs
One of the biggest pieces of addiction treatment is group and individual therapy. As a patient in the Evolutions Program, your group therapy will be with other older adults. This way, you won’t feel uncomfortable in mixed-age therapy group sessions. We’ve also trained our staff to be conscious of things like the volume and speed of their voices and avoiding jargon or slang.
And because you’ll be with patients in the same life stage, you can draw strength from each other as you navigate treatment together. Research shows being surrounded by peers in addiction treatment can increase the likelihood of achieving and maintaining recovery, and that’s exactly what you’ll get in RCA’s Evolutions Program.
Though addiction is a disease that tries to isolate, you are not alone in this battle. New research shows that alcohol and drug use is on the rise in the elderly populations. Nearly a third of older adults have received a prescription for an opioid pain medicine in the past two years, but many didn’t get enough counseling on the risk that come along with potent painkillers, how to reduce their use, when to switch to a non-opioid option, or what to do with leftover pills.
And more than 1 million individuals aged 65 or older suffering from a Substance Use Disorder (SUD) in 2014, including 978,000 older adults with an alcohol use disorder and 161,000 with an illicit drug use disorder. Plus, older adults are more likely to be prescribed painkillers following a surgery or injury and other medications for anxiety, stress, and trouble sleeping.
It’s never too late to improve your life, health, and lifestyle. Our Evolutions program is focused specifically on this part of life; it’s a transition. The kids are out of the house, retirement is on the horizon, you’re probably wondering what’s next for you. Evolutions is next. It’s an opportunity for patients to develop a plan for their future, because there’s still so much time left. We’re helping patients find new ways to enjoy life and reinvent themselves.”
– says Scott Weisenberger, Vice President, Clinical Services
Frequently Asked Questions
Who will I be sharing a room with?
Recovery Centers of America believes in the importance of connection and comfort – and we know the best way for our patients to achieve this is by being surrounded by like-minded people. You will be sharing a room with another Evolutions patient, who will be 50 years old and older. This way, you’ll be comfortable with having someone in the same stage as life as your roommate.
Will I be in counseling with people who are going to understand what I’m dealing with at this stage in life?
Yes, the patients in your counseling group sessions will also be a part of the Evolutions program. We want you to get the most out of your time with us, so you can live a happy, healthy life. Immersing yourself in a program with people who understand the challenges and changes at this point in life will help you in your journey. You’ll be able to rely on, build off of, connect with, and support other patients who are in your age group.
How will my family be involved in my treatment?
Having a solid support system is critical to achieving and maintaining recovery. We welcome family to come in for family counseling sessions as well as visitation hours. Visiting hours vary depending on the site – we will provide you with all visitation upon admission, or you can give us a call and we’ll provide you with the information for the site.
What are my options for aftercare treatment?
Recovery Centers of America provides a full continuum of care. This means we treat addiction every step of the way, starting with inpatient and continuing into outpatient care. Our staff will work with you to come up with a comprehensive aftercare plan which includes an outpatient program. Here, you’ll get individual and group counseling and alumni support. RCA’s outpatient program offers many different levels, including Partial Hospitalization, Intensive Outpatient, and General Outpatient, so you can transition back to a routine.
Will the amenities at the site be comfortable?
We’ve made every effort to ensure comfortable amenities at every single one of our locations. For example, at our Devon location, we used bright lights in all hallways and rooms, and situated patients in the Evolutions Program near the nurse’s station. We’ve also created a workbook with easy-to-read font on gray-colored paper to avoid eye strain. And if you have specific medication, like blood pressure or heart medicine, we will ensure you get what you need when you need it. As for any additional requests, we will do our best to meet accordingly.
How do I know the staff are experienced with people my age?
We’ve adopted recommendations from the U.S. Department of Aging to ensure our staff, curriculum, and program are on target with your needs. While we do have older adults working for us, we understand the importance of every single member of our staff to be trained on things they may not have experienced for themselves yet.
It’s never too late to achieve recovery. Call 855-231-0325 today.