Aging Adults are Not Immune to Addiction

The opioid crisis in the United States has been making headlines over and over again lately – and for good reason. According to the CDC, more than 700,000 people died from a drug overdose between 1999 and 2017, and the majority of drug overdose deaths in 2017 involved opioids.

Although opioids have become a villain in the eyes of many people, these drugs are typically prescribed in a good faith attempt to quell pain. And when a person is suffering from pain, they are often willing to consider any remedy that might bring them relief. This makes older adults especially vulnerable: since aging adults often struggle with pain and mobility issues, as well as social isolation, it can be especially difficult to identify drug abuse and addiction in this population.

An elderly man at a window
Having mental health issues or a disability, being hospitalized, living in a long-term care facility or experiencing chronic pain can all increase the risk of opioid addiction in the elderly.

U.S. News and World Report cites projections that 5.7 million adults over the age of 50 will suffer from a substance abuse disorder by the year 2020. “While a family or personal history of addiction heightens the risk that an older person will develop a substance use problem, there are many other risk factors, including having mental health issues or a disability, being hospitalized, living in a long-term care facility or experiencing chronic pain,” says Kate Lufkin, a cognitive behavioral specialist who recently spoke at the Aging in America Conference in New Orleans.

According to Lufkin, older adults can be prone to a line of thinking such as, “My doctor gave this to me and I feel better. Why would I stop?” This mindset is dangerous with opioids, which may need to be taken in ever-increasing dosages to maintain their effectiveness. When the primary goal is to stop the pain, following doctor’s orders may fall to the wayside – and thus begins the first step towards abuse and addiction.

With 20% of older adults suffering from chronic pain, and opioid-related overdose deaths increasing 17.2% from 2016 to 2017 in adults aged 65 and older, it is critical to address this issue head-on – especially since the over-65 group was the only age bracket to see an increase in opioid-related deaths in the past year. Furthermore, most addiction treatment programs are tailored for younger people, and can be difficult for older adults to attend if they need transportation or other assistance.

Fortunately, addictive drugs are not the only option for treating pain. Alpha-Stim® is an FDA cleared, handheld medical device proven to effectively treat acute, post-traumatic, and chronic pain. It delivers relief directly to the source of pain with two handheld Smart Probes; results are long lasting and often immediate, and treatments take only minutes.

Alpha-Stim Smart Probes
Alpha-Stim is a drug-free treatment that delivers relief directly to the site of pain.

Alpha-Stim is safe and appropriate for use in aging adults: it is easy to use in the comfort of home, and there is no risk of overuse or addiction. Alpha-Stim can safely be used in conjunction with other medications or treatment modalities, if necessary. On top of that, Alpha-Stim also treats anxiety, insomnia, and depression – all of which are common among aging adults.

With Alpha-Stim, there is no risk of overuse or withdrawal – there is no harm if it is used “incorrectly.” Furthermore, the results are cumulative – in other words, the more you use Alpha-Stim, the more effective it becomes. Many people find that they can reduce the frequency of their treatments and maintain the same benefit.

The golden years are meant to be just that: golden. With Alpha-Stim, older adults can enjoy their best lives, without worrying about the risk of addiction or scary side effects. Backed by decades of clinical research and patient success stories, Alpha-Stim is simply a better, safer choice for pain relief among older adults.  Whether for yourself or a loved one, get started today and experience the difference.

About Alpha-Stim

Alpha-Stim® is an FDA cleared, handheld medical device that has been proven time and again to effectively treat acute, post traumatic, and chronic pain, as well as anxiety, insomnia, and depression.  Alpha-Stim uses cranial electrotherapy stimulation (CES), delivered through a patented waveform via two earclip electrodes, to treat anxiety, insomnia, and depression. Microcurrent electrical therapy (MET) delivers pain relief directly to the source of discomfort via two handheld Smart Probes.

The safety and effectiveness of Alpha-Stim is backed by over 100 independent clinical research studies. Unlike with medications, there is no risk of addiction or lasting side effects.

Alpha-Stim is available by prescription in the United States and over-the-counter in other countries. Get started today!

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