Substance Use, Declining Memory, and the Elderly

It doesn’t take much of a stretch of the imagination to believe that substance use and addiction might lead to the development of memory problems. It isn’t only using drugs that can cause these issues: “excessive alcohol consumption may increase the risk of cognitive dysfunction and dementia.” So, knowing beyond the shadow of a doubt that substance abuse can weaken the memory of people at various ages, what do we do?

How Pain Management Leads to Substance Abuse

As expected, opioids factor into this conversation, just as they do in most addiction conversations. Since opiates work by blocking signals of pain, and since that process is part of cognitive functionality, it makes sense that memory would also be affected by substance use at some point. For those who are older, this is especially true, considering that their memory is already impacted by the natural process of aging.

To combat this, the first step is to approach pain management for this age bracket is to offer non-addictive solutions. Though they may seem “less effective” to those who are really suffering, the threat of addiction and everything that comes with it aren’t worth it. Psychotherapy is another avenue to pursue as it has been shown to combat chronic pain effectively.

Getting involved with activities that engage the mind and body and distract from pain is another viable option. This is easiest for older people who are living within a kind of community, but groups for just about any activity can be found in most areas. These sorts of things make it possible to distract from pain, to establish supportive relationships, and to help combat the potential for memory loss.

Substance use today does so much damage that we have to focus our efforts on lessening its impact. In order to help those who are struggling with substance abuse and more, contact The Bergand Group. We offer recovery programs for yourself or for others who are seeking education materials about addictions. The Bergand Group is Maryland’s leading addiction treatment and recovery center and offers support for those struggling with addiction and mental health issues, including direction for those who may be denying an addiction.  We can help you to work through your addiction in a safe and healthy environment where everyone is committed to your care.

SOURCE

About The Bergand Group:

At The Bergand Group in Baltimore and Harford County, Maryland, our therapists have more than twenty years of experience in the mental health and addiction fields. Our focus is on providing comprehensive mental health care and appropriate care for addictive disorders. We offer both alcohol rehab and drug rehabilitation. If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol or substance addiction, there is help available. We also offer several other services, including family therapy and counseling. We can help. Contact us today.

2018-10-29T10:25:20+00:00
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