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Addiction and the Elderly Essay

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Addiction and the Elderly
Ellis Simpson



Addiction and the Elderly
Substance abuse and Alcoholism do not discriminate, they use equal opportunity to spread their destruction, these are two of the most consistent contributors to the breakdown of the family structure in this country. The face of Substance abuse and Alcoholism is not nearly as consistent as the problem itself and much of this paper will look into that, and more specifically, some of the ways in which the elderly have become victims of this issue. Let us also not forget those that have been affected indirectly but affected nonetheless by this issue, the mothers, fathers, children, and society as a whole.
The roots of this problem can be traced back to ancient civilization and we can see how it has grown like a wild grape vine, spreading its branches in every direction in an attempt to cover the landscape. From the use of leavened fruits and grain to make alcohol to the abuse of medicinal plants that were used in religious rituals this problem has evolved and grown. It is a problem that has no racial or ethnical boundaries, it touches the rich, the poor, and all those in between. It destroys families, makes orphans of young children, and criminals of saints. Without a clear solution to this problem we, as a society will be forced to pay a very high price, spiritually, physically, mentally, and financially.
As some have committed themselves to searching out solutions to this problem that affects us all, we must practice being sensitive to the diversity of those that need help with this issue, especially the elderly. The senior citizens of today have been greatly affected by alcoholism and substance abuse and are forgotten by many, attention must be given not only to the issue of substance abuse and alcoholism but more importantly, how it is affecting our seniors and what we can do about it.

Substance use trends among the elderly are changing, and may increase among the aging baby boomer...

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