Details the effect of being a non-alcoholic person married to an end-stage alcoholic. Frustrations, trials, tribulation... and yet... there is comedy hidden in the insanity. This blog also provides useful insight and facts concerning the complexities of conflicting information.
I seldom allow rehab centers to have links from my blog to there site if they do not have a family program on their agenda. However, after exchanging many e-mails and lots of thought, I'm allowing Shadow Mountain Recovery to submit the below post which contains a link to their website. Although they do not have a family program yet, the rest of the program seems to fit my requirements for a rehab facility.
My theory is if they get enough requests for a family program, they will start one. An e-mail to their director may help that along a bit.
If you have been to this facility, please comment with a reveiw. Thanks.
Addiction in Middle Age
By Emma Wilson
Addiction isn’t just a problem
for youth—at least, not anymore. The trend of drug-related overdoses and deaths
is rising among adults even while it declines among adolescents. Today,
middle-aged adults are more at risk than any other segment of the population.
It’s time we recognize this problem and take action!
Who Is at Risk?
According to the National
Institute on Drug Abuse, the baby boomer generation is especially affected by
harder drug use. Why? Both cultural and economic reasons play a part: many of
today’s middle-aged population were exposed to drugs at younger ages due to
cultural shifts in the 1960s and 1970s (think Woodstock!).
As such, some adults have
long-standing addictions that require substances of increasing potency to
produce the same “high.”
In addition, the simple economic
truth is that a greater number of drugs are more widely available today. And
adults entering middle age often have more disposable income—more than their
children or grandchildren—leaving them better able to afford an addiction. This
includes everything from so-called “hard” street drugs to cigarettes at the
local gas station.
Just as we care for young people,
adults also need help to recognize symptoms of substance abuse to treat these
harmful and potentially life-threatening addictions. The more aware we are of
drug dependence and addiction, the more we can help.
Alcohol. Although the highest percentage of heavy (or binge)
alcohol use is among college-aged students, studies show that over 50% of those
from 35–60 years of age still report current heavy and binge drinking within
the past 30 days.
Why is this a problem? Even
though alcohol is legal, heavy drinking leads to a host of undesirable personal
and health related outcomes: increased levels of divorce, financial
instability, and personal violence included. Of particular note,
alcohol-related deaths are on the rise among this population segment—data from
the U.S. government indicates that heavy drinking can shorten a life span by as
much as 30 years.
Prescription pain medications. As stated here, prescription drug abuse is the leading
type of drug abuse among middle aged Americans. Drugs commonly prescribed to
relieve pain, such as morphine, Vicodin, Percocet, OxyContin, and a host of
other opioids (opium-derived drugs), can become addicting. Speak openly with
your doctor about the dangers of such medication. Be aware that the possibility
for addiction is especially high if use continues for anxiety and stress relief
beyond the prescribed medicinal use.
Avoid the temptation of drug
abuse by throwing away medicines after their prescription has expired. If this
is too difficult, have a trusted family member or friend do this for you. Abuse
of prescription medication is dangerous especially because it can serve as a
gateway drug to illegal substances and even petty theft.
Tobacco. We know that tobacco occurs in many forms and is used
widely. Nicotine levels—the most addicting part—vary by product, but all are
dangerous for health and are generally habit-forming. There are significant
health risks, as tobacco use harms every organ in the body, leading to cancer,
respiratory problems, and even decreased fertility in both men and women.
The good news: quitting is
possible. Some studies suggest that there are more former smokers than current
smokers living in the U.S. right now!
Hard Drugs. Those who develop dependence to “lesser” drugs
(nicotine, alcohol, or prescription medication) often move on to even more
harmful and addictive substances in order to get the same “high.” These include
heroin, cocaine, methamphetamines, LSD, and a host of other street drugs—and
they each have serious side effects.
The health risks of using drugs
are obvious. But use of these drugs is also correlated with increased criminal
activity and negatively affects many aspects of ordinary life, including jobs
What Will Happen?
If society at large ignores the
trend of addictions among adults, the proper steps towards prevention won’t be
taken. Ultimately, crime rates and drug-related deaths will continue to
increase in the older adult population, especially hitting the baby boomer
generation hard. Lifespan expectations may decrease along with quality of life
for the older generation.
But there is hope!
Full recovery is possible, even
for those with long-standing drug habits. Studies have shown that older adults
have higher long-term rates of recovery after treatment and are better able to
remain drug and alcohol free. As Michael Botticelli, Acting Director of the
National Drug Control Policy, put it, “substance use disorders are diseases
that can be prevented, [and] treated, and from which people can recover.”
There are many meaningful steps
toward recovery from addiction, at any age.
• Choose someone to be
accountable to. Unlike an adolescent, you aren’t likely to be living with or
even near your parents, so find someone you trust and see regularly—spouse,
child, co-worker, or other friend. Tell them about your history of addiction
and work together towards transparency. If you relapse, report to them
• Seek professional help,
including health professionals and rehabilitation programs at a treatment
center when appropriate. Having this level of support can help you make hard
choices and change the direction of your life, which is difficult to do alone.
• Understand the signals. Pay
attention to proper dosing levels on all prescription drugs, and talk to your
doctor if you feel uncomfortable with the side effects or begin to feel
dependent on any medication.
• Make meaningful goals (both
related to addiction and to other areas of your life—emotional, mental,
physical, and spiritual) and progress towards them.
As real as drug dependence can
be, so are the numerous success stories of those who have recovered from
substance addiction. Even if substance abuse has been a part of your life for
decades, you can do it too!