Do older people go to drug rehab? When thinking of a chronic drug user’s age, people usually think of younger to middle-aged individuals. Most imagine a childhood friend or a beloved sibling. Ordinarily, nobody suspects their grandparents are taking part in substance abuse. However, this is more common than you might think. There are plenty of elderly individuals who suffer from addiction—presenting a unique challenge to rehab centers everywhere.
Although the saying goes that “an old dog can’t learn new tricks,” there is always a path to recovery if one asks for help. Rehab centers across the country now have access to new treatment methods, better medication, and more effective therapy than ever before. Indeed, healing is possible for everyone. Interestingly, these facts present older individuals with a critical question. Am I too old for rehab?
Suppose you need more information about rehab, call 706-480-8733 today. Our experts are standing by, ready to help you decide if recovery is right for you. The experts can also help you figure out if rehab is suitable for someone that you may be concerned about. Call today, and we can start you on a healthier path.
Addiction is a Powerful Disease
Addiction is the most inclusive disease in the entire world. It is a painful burden to carry and leaves those struggling with it feeling hopeless. Along with the mental anguish, these individuals think the bodily dangers are just as severe. The Center for Disease Control states that over 67,000 people in the United States died of a drug overdose in 2018 alone. Frankly, it is a powerful disease. Likewise, there is no doubt that it affects every age group as well.
If you are elderly and suffering from addiction, it is essential to know that you are not the only one. Overall, studies indicate that drug abuse and addiction among the elderly population is increasing. This is similar to the substance abuse statistics for every demographic. Fortunately, there are financial options for care. There are also many different types of treatment. In the end, all you have to do is ask for help. There is no need to suffer for the rest of your life. Reach out to us today to get help recovering from your addiction. We can also help you or a loved one beat addiction. Do not hesitate and call us today.
Elderly Substance Abuse Statistics
Medical researchers are currently doing a lot of research on elderly drug abuse and addiction. Furthermore, the findings they are gathering have been helping addiction specialists and doctors treat older patients. This research includes findings on opioid abuse specifically. According to a study conducted by the Gerontological Society of America, drug misuse is common in emergency departments (ED) and has increased in recent years.
“ED visits by older adults with opioid misuse identified in the ED increased sharply from 2006 to 2014, representing a nearly 220% increase over the study period. Opioid misuse was associated with an increased number of chronic conditions, greater injury risk, and higher rates of alcohol dependence and mental health diagnoses”
In other words, the study found that opioid abuse is rising. Along with this, the rate of alcohol abuse and mental illness is increasing as well. As alarming as this is, the findings remain significant.
“Findings demonstrate the breadth and scope of opioid misuse and dependence among older adults visiting emergency departments and indicate that targeted programs aimed at screening, intervention, and treatment specifically geared toward older adults are warranted.”
Considering the rapid rate at which these issues are appearing, this is a good idea. Providing screening, intervention, and treatment for the older population is necessary. Although this is true, it comes with challenges.
Whether young or old, co-occurring condition usually exists with addiction patients in recovery. It is easy to understand why individuals with depression or anxiety would self medicate with an unhealthy substance in light of this. According to the study, this is common among older adults. Thus, it can pose a new challenge.
“Results from this study also highlight the complexity of treating opioid dependence in this population, which reflect in part, high rates of coexisting mental health and other substance abuse disorders. When considered together, these findings underscore the pressing need for policy changes to increase access to long-term substance misuse treatment and support needs.”
As it turns out, the elderly population is subject to self-medicating behaviors as well. From what the research is showing, it sounds like the next step is finding a way to combine elderly treatment methods with co-occurring disorder treatment methods. Thus, creating new ideas for helping older individuals on their path to recovery.
Treatment Plans for Elderly Addiction Patients
When an elderly individual is suffering from an addiction and asks for help, they can expect treatment options. Luckily, there are many different options for treatment, depending on the patient’s needs. Mostly, treatment programs are either residential(inpatient) or non residential(outpatient). No matter which one they choose, patients will also need to decide on a length of 30, 60, or 90 days. Here is a summary of the choices available at most rehab centers and what needs they cover:
Outpatient vs. Inpatient
- Inpatient treatment programs are ideal for those with severe addictions because they let them live at the rehab center. These programs are a great option for multiple reasons. Firstly, patients will have access to around the clock care. Secondly, patients will be able to relocate to a different environment, thus giving them an edge in recovering.
- Outpatient treatment programs are mainly for those who have daily responsibilities and also want addiction treatment. The difference with outpatient programs is the fact that patients return home each night. These programs also have a lot of benefits. First, patients will support their families nearby as most do not travel for these programs. Also, patients may be able to work as well and sustain their careers. Above all, if you or someone you care about needs more information about treatment care, call us today. We will provide you with more information and help you find the right treatment care plan for you and your needs.
Length of Treatment
- Short Term treatment usually lasts 30-60 days, depending on the rehab center. Most importantly, these programs are for individuals who have mild to moderate addictions. Studies show that the amount of time a patient stays in a rehab program is critical to their recovery success. Ultimately, if an addiction specialist sees the addiction as only moderate, they will recommend this program.
- Long Term treatment typically lasts 90 or more days. The benefit of these is the long length and the higher rate of recovering. This is ideal for those who have severe addiction.
Medicare Can Help
After learning about the types of treatment available, it is essential to know what is covered under Medicare. Because of the age of the patients being higher, Medicare can help substantially. Here is a summary of their coverage, according to the Medicare website.
Medicare covers alcoholism and substance use disorder treatment in both inpatient and outpatient settings if:
- Your provider states that the services are medically necessary
- You receive services from a Medicare-approved provider or facility
- Also, your provider sets up your plan of care
Covered Services Include But are Not Limited to:
- Patient education regarding diagnosis and treatment
- Post-hospitalization follow-up
- Opioid treatment program (OTP) services (see below)
- Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved opioid treatment medications (methadone, buprenorphine, naltrexone)
- Dispensing and administering drug, if applicable
- Substance use counseling
- Individual and group therapy
- Toxicology testing
- Intake activities and periodic assessments
- Prescription drugs administered during a hospital stay or injected at a doctor’s office
- Methadone may be covered in inpatient hospital settings
- Outpatient prescription drugs covered by Part D
- Part D plans must cover medically necessary drugs to treat substance use disorder
- Note: Part D plans cannot cover methadone or similarly administered medications to treat substance use disorder, but they can cover methadone for other conditions, such as pain. (Note: OTPs can provide methadone for substance use disorder treatment.)
Structured Assessment and Brief Intervention (SBIRT) Services
Provided in a doctor’s office or outpatient hospital. SBIRT is covered by Medicare when individual shows signs of substance use disorder or dependency. SBIRT treatment involves:
- Screening: Assessment to determine the severity of substance use and identify the appropriate level of treatment.
- Brief intervention: Engagement to provide advice, increase awareness, and motivate individual to make behavioral changes.
- Referral to treatment: If individual is identified as having additional treatment needs, provides them with more treatment and access to specialty care.
More About Inpatient care
Part A should cover your care if you are hospitalized and need substance use disorder treatment. Your plan’s cost-sharing rules for an inpatient hospital stay should apply.
Note: If you are receiving care at an inpatient psychiatric hospital, keep in mind that Medicare only covers a total of 190 lifetime days.
More Abut Outpatient care
Part B should cover outpatient substance use disorder care you receive from a clinic, hospital outpatient department, or opioid treatment program. Note that some substance use disorder treatment can also be provided using technology services, sometimes called telehealth.
Original Medicare covers mental health services, including treatment for alcoholism and substance use disorder, at 80% of the Medicare-approved amount. As long as you receive the service from a participating provider, you will pay a 20% coinsurance after you meet your Part B deductible. If you are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan, contact your plan for cost and coverage information for substance use disorder treatment. Your plan’s deductibles and copayments/coinsurance may apply.
Some medications used to treat substance use do not meet certain requirements for coverage under Medicare Part D. These medications are generally not covered by Part D or Part B. These medications can be covered by Part A during an inpatient stay or by Part B as part of medication-assisted treatment (MAT) at an OTP.
Opioid Treatment Programs (OTP)
Medicare Part B covers opioid use disorder (OUD) treatment received at opioid treatment programs. OTPs, which are also known as methadone clinics, are certified by SAMHSA which is the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. They provide methadone as part of medication-assisted treatment. OTPs are the only place where you can receive methadone to treat opioid use disorder.
To receive Medicare coverage for OTP services, your OTP must:
- Be certified by SAMHSA
- Enroll in the Medicare program
You Are Not Alone
The most important thing to remember about being elderly and having an addiction is that you are not alone. Many research studies can prove this. Despite the idea that older individuals are safe from the plague of addiction, the National Institute on Drug Abuse reports:
“Older Americans have not been spared in the ongoing epidemic of opioid use and misuse . . . The researchers tracked the trend in first-time treatment admissions of U.S. adults age 55 and older with a primary diagnosis of opioid use disorders, as recorded in the Treatment Episode Data Set, from 2004 to 2015. The number climbed roughly 8 percent annually from 2004 to 2012, then surged 25 percent each year from 2013 to 2015. Across the years 2004 to 2015, it increased from roughly 10 percent to more than 20 percent of all first-time treatment admissions in this age group.”
Even though these findings are alarming, it shows that older adults suffer from addiction just like younger people. You are not alone in wanting to seek help and regain your life. There are many of those over the age of 55 who are participating in addiction recovery treatment programs.
To summarize, it is never too late to reach out for help. Whether you have a mild addiction or a severe addiction and co-occurring disorders, there is always a way you can heal from addiction, no matter what age they are, call us today. With our judgment-free policy, we can help you get back on track to a healthier life!