The circumstances that can lead to chemical dependency are many and varied, but there are also many different effects that individuals experience while in the throes of active addiction. In short, there is a large degree of variation in how alcohol and drug addiction affects individuals’ lives. For some, addiction results in more physical and health effects, but for others the worst effects of addiction could be the behavioral changes that result from habitual substance abuse. As such, individuals who choose to overcome chemical dependency tend to have very different recovery needs, requiring a variety of programming options in order to address the symptoms of addiction experienced by each individual. One of the most important factors that will vary from one addict to the next and will greatly affect an individual’s needs in recovery is one’s age.
Substance Abuse Behavior & Age Differences
Research has found that, although men tend to suffer from addiction at higher rates than women, women tend to escalate their consumption of alcohol and drugs much faster than men, meaning that women tend to develop chemical dependency more quickly than men. However, gender isn’t the only demographic attribute in which individuals can differ in how they develop and suffer from addiction. Age is also a very important determinant, which is reinforced by the variation in rates of addiction and the behaviors of addicts in different age groups. In a survey conducted in 2013, a reported 24.6 million Americans aged 12 or older had admitted to abusing an illicit drug over the course of the previous month, representing almost 10 percent of the US population. Statistics also show that there are approximately 7,800 individuals trying an illicit drug for the first time every single day; moreover, about 54.1 percent of first-time drug users are under the age of 18. However, this also means that many of those individuals aged 40 and over could possibly have been suffering from addiction for several decades, indicating a substance abuse habit that is very thoroughly embedded in their daily lives.
Why Age-Specific Substance Abuse Treatment is Beneficial
Recovery from alcohol and drug addiction is not exactly an easy feat. It requires the strength of conviction and will, determination, and ongoing effort in order to sustain one’s long-term sobriety. As such, it’s increasingly important for individuals in recovery to receive the best treatments that can address their specific needs. This requires a certain degree of personalization in the curricula of addiction recovery programs, adjusting the therapies and treatments used to account for varying patient needs.
Of the many social and demographic factors that can affect one’s recovery needs, an individual’s age is an important consideration in addiction rehabilitation, indicated by the fact that individuals of differing ages develop and are affected by addiction very differently. In particular, those aged 40 and over who are suffering from alcohol and drug addiction represent a unique subset of the population. It’s been found that these individuals often suffer from a specific set of underlying issues related to the development of chemical dependency. As such, individuals—especially those of more advanced age—require addiction treatments that are tailored more to their age-specific needs.
How Does Guardian Intensive Outpatient Meet Age-Specific Recovery Needs?
Expectedly, those who are younger—adolescents, teens, and young adults—will have developed chemical dependency and suffered from alcohol and drug addiction in a much different manner than individuals aged 40 years and older. In short, treatments and therapeutic techniques that are effective for someone who is younger may not work as effectively for those of more advanced age. At Guardian IOP, we treat each patient individually, which includes incorporating age-specific treatment into customized programming so that our treatment addresses each patient’s recovery needs. We’ve found that those in treatment achieve optimal results when participating in group sessions with peers of similar age, allowing them to relate better to those with similar experiences and perspectives.
Guardian Intensive Outpatient treatment protocols for the over-40 include age-specific group sessions with a focus on the professional repercussions of chemical dependency, screening and treatment of comorbid conditions that can occur among those of advanced age—such as depression and anxiety—and even grief counseling for those who have experienced loss. Moreover, we help individuals overcome obstacles to recovery and success in life that occur at various age levels as well as any other concerns a patient may have regarding the recovery process. Age-specific treatment at Guardian Intensive Outpatient ensures that those suffering from alcohol and drug addiction—no matter their ages—can achieve optimal success in our recovery programming.
Learn More About Treatment Options by Contacting Guardian IOP Today
Addiction doesn’t happen in the same way for everyone. Therefore, it follows that the journey to recovery isn’t the same for everyone either. At Guardian Intensive Outpatient, individuals can personalize our programming with a variety of gender and age-specific treatments as well as with a host of evidence-based supplemental and holistic therapies. If you or someone you love is suffering from chemical dependency and would like to learn more about what we have to offer, call Guardian Intensive Outpatient today. We have professional recovery specialists available to answer questions and help individuals suffering from alcohol and drug addiction find the treatments they need to return to lives of sobriety, health, and fulfillment.