While we were using drugs or drinking there was nothing that could keep us from getting our next fix, our next high, our next drink. All our time and money was spent on our addiction. We had no time for family, friends not even ourselves. Our lives had no direction, no future; the life we once wished for ourselves was lost with that one hit, that one shot and it seemed hard to believe we could ever get it back.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIH), addiction is a chronic disease characterized by drug seeking and use that is compulsive, or difficult to control, despite harmful consequences. The initial decision to take drugs is voluntary for most people, but repeated drug use can lead to brain changes that challenge an addicted person’s self-control and interfere with their ability to resist intense urges to take drugs. These brain changes can be persistent, which is why drug addiction is considered a “relapsing” disease—people in recovery from drug use disorders are at increased risk for returning to drug use even after years of not taking the drug.
Addiction Problems for Senior Citizens
There are many reasons why addicts do not get help and get treatment for their addiction problem(s). There are so many reasons why people choose not to take that first step to go into treatment. Some may think they won’t have any fun sober or they may think they just can’t imagine living the rest of their lives without a drink or a drug. Some of us that have been through withdrawals before are just not taking that step because of the fear of being in withdrawal pains. Fear sometimes is what keeps the addiction cycle going.
Why Stay Addicted at an Advanced Age?
Those of us who have been to treatment a few times and still have failed to stay sober more than a few months or years maybe think they just can’t do it and in their later years think that they are too old and feel they should just give up on trying. But that is not the case, it is never too old to get sober. Your life is worth getting sober no matter what age you are.
All the people I’ve spoken with who found sobriety after 40 told me the same thing: they felt like they had an advantage because of their age-related wisdom. When you’re young you frequently act on impulse, out of emotion, and because you feel invincible. As you age you come to realize that being less reactive works to your advantage, you become familiar with how to process your emotions, and gain the wisdom that comes with life experience and age. Wisdom can help you defy the odds against addiction. It might help you say “enough is enough.”
Is It Never Too Late to Get Sober?
There is nothing wrong with getting sober at a later age; in fact, everyone that achieved this goal should be proud of themselves. It doesn’t matter at what age you’ve entered recovery, as long as you’re happy, healthy, and drug-and-alcohol-free. Just because each age range comes with its unique struggles doesn’t mean sobriety is impossible. Knowing and becoming aware of these struggles may give you the knowledge you need to finally leave alcohol behind once and for all.
The most wonderful part about getting sober later in life is that you still get to live your best life. It’s never too late and you’re never too old. Sobriety is within reach for anyone whether you’re 19 or 90.
Treatment for Addiction Regardless of Age
If you or a loved one is older and still struggling with substance abuse Garden State Treatment Center can help. Located in the heart of Northern New Jersey, Garden State Treatment Center is an outpatient and partial care addiction treatment facility that offers nuanced levels of care for individuals struggling with the horrors of substance abuse. It is our explicit goal to help addicted clients rebuild their lives from the inside out and reintegrate themselves back into society.
The most important thing you can expect from your Garden State Treatment Center Treatment experience is that you will emerge from it transformed, stable, and ready to begin a lifetime of recovery.