Intervention During Older Americans MonthMay 8, 2020
Americans talk a lot about what constitutes an essential service amid a pandemic. Grocery stores, pharmacies, car dealerships, and gas stations are several examples. There are, however, other necessary services that are less spoken about, such as addiction treatment and intervention.
It’s been over three months since the first coronavirus-related death in the United States. In March, states began ordering restaurants, bars, and other non-essential services to shut down due to the exponential rise of COVID-19 cases and deaths.
Today, more than 33 million Americans are out of work, and, as was the case during the “Great Recession,” alcohol sales are through the roof. We have mentioned explosive alcohol purchasing in previous posts and how it would likely lead to an increase in alcohol use disorder cases.
In light of the fact that it’s Mental Health Awareness Month and Older Americans Month, it’s vital that we discuss both mental illness and addiction among the elderly. The latter demographic being especially susceptible to contracting and perishing from the coronavirus.
Nearly half of older Americans have pre-existing health conditions, and studies show that they are engaging in heavy alcohol use. Both of the factors mentioned above place the elderly at a significant risk of getting COVID-19 or developing an alcohol use disorder.
Mental Health Awareness Month
Mental health disorders affect the lives of one in five Americans, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). Nearly 50 million people live with the symptoms of mental illness every day. Unfortunately, fewer than half of the above receive the treatment they require.
Without treatment, people resort to coping in unhealthy ways, such as using drugs and alcohol. Such actions regularly lead to the development of behavioral health issues like alcohol and substance use disorder. Moreover, at least half of adults living with addiction also contend with co-occurring mental illness.
People struggling with depression, addiction, or both require intervention; unfortunately, such individuals are often resistant to the idea of treatment. If you have a loved one who is battling with a mental health disorder or a substance use disorder, we strongly encourage you to reach out to an intervention professional.
Older Americans Month
Older Americans Month usually is about acknowledging the contributions older adults make to our communities. However, during the national public health crisis, it’s critical that we support older Americans who have problems with mental health or addiction.
More than one in 10 older Americans binge drink, according to study appearing in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. The research shows that an estimated 70 percent of all hospitalized older adults and up to 50 percent of people living in nursing homes have problems stemming from alcohol use.
Older Americans living with an alcohol use disorder face severe health risks, including contracting the coronavirus. If you have an elderly loved one who is drinking to excess and may have an unhealthy relationship with alcohol, then you can benefit from seeking professional guidance.
An intervention can be the catalyst for bringing about lasting recovery. What’s more, the sooner an intervention takes place, the better. It’s not easy to confront a loved one about their alcohol or substance use without professional assistance.
“One of the things that can be helpful is seeking advice from a professional who can guide you as to what type of treatment they should be getting, and interestingly how to approach them,” said Dr. Tara Narula, a board-certified cardiologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in Manhattan and assistant professor of Cardiovascular Medicine at the Zucker School of Medicine, Hofstra/Northwell.
Mental Health and Addiction Intervention
At Whitman Recovery Service, we can help an older loved one of yours get the treatment they require. Please contact us today to learn more about our intervention techniques and approaches. Our team has a 98 percent success rate in the field of intervention.