Substance Abuse

Substance Abuse

We are blessed to live in SCCL, an Active Senior Living community.  We have the ability to preserve our health and safety by being vigilant, aware and responsible for OUR OWN Health.

Number one avoidable problem is substance abuse among individuals over 65. Abuse results from misuse of alcohol and/or over-the-counter and prescription drugs. Misuse of drugs refers to underuse, overuse, or erratic use of legally prescribed and/or over-the-counter drugs.  Mixing alcohol with most medications is contraindicated as alcohol makes many medications either more or less potent.  Your MD is counting on the accurate dispensing of medications for your success of your overall healthcare plan. Beyond the physical and mental health risks, frequent heavy drinking also is linked with personal problems  and having relationship troubles.  If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation and measure. This means an average of one to two drinks per day for men and one drink per day for women. (A drink is one 12 oz. beer, 4 oz. of wine, 1.5 oz. of 80-proof spirits, or 1 oz. of 100-proof spirits.)  Drinking more alcohol increases such dangers as alcoholism, high blood pressure, obesity, stroke, breast cancer, suicide and accidents. Aging lowers the body’s tolerance for alcohol.  Older adults generally experience the effects of alcohol more quickly than when they were younger.  Alcohol is a factor, for example, in about 60% of fatal burn injuries, suicides and homicides as well as many slips and falls: 50% of severe trauma injuries ( broken hips & knees etc) and 40% of fatal motor vehicle accidents.

 Depression:  Consider asking your doctor about a depression anxiety screening questionnaire if you have any question that you or a loved one seems to becoming more depressed or anxious. Remember too  that alcohol is a depressant and muscle relaxant.

Stop Smoking.  Tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of disease, disability, and death in the United States. About 8.4% of adults aged 65 or older still smoke cigarettes in the last survey in 2010

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