By Holly Broce, MHA, LCADC, Senior Vice President of OTP Division
Addiction to alcohol or drugs, both prescription and illicit, wreaks havoc on a person’s life. Drug and alcohol dependence also impact the family and loved ones of the person with the addiction issue. From a decreased interest in hobbies to loss of jobs, addiction can turn a person’s life around in a matter of just months, leaving them struggling to pay bills, survive, and get medical care.
Often in addiction treatment support groups, ‘hitting bottom’ is discussed. For each person this can be a different place. There is an age group that has become one of the higher risk groups for developing addiction to prescription painkillers. This is the senior citizen and older adult population in our nation. And for these individuals, a noticeable ‘hitting the bottom’ is uncommon.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2015, death from drug overdose increased in all groups including those over the age of 60. With the onset of the baby boomers entering this age group, these numbers are predicted to climb.
Identifying substance use disorders (SUD) in this age group can be tricky. Many of the symptoms of addiction also present like symptoms associated with aging like memory loss, confusion, and balance issues.
And while illicit drug use is not uncommon in this aging population, prescription drug abuse is more of a concern. A report by the National Center for Health Services revealed that from 2013 to 2014, there were 40 percent of people over the age of 65 years who took five or more prescription medications in the last month.
Chronic pain is common amongst the elderly and there has been an increase in opioid prescription painkillers which has resulted in increased rates of SUD for seniors across our nation. Adding to the dependence is the fact that the body’s ability to filter and process medications slows with age.
There are many seniors in the United States in need of addiction treatment. However, many seniors are on a fixed budget and have Medicare as their primary means of health insurance. So, the question is posed, are there quality addiction treatment centers for senior citizens that accept Medicare?
The answer is yes! There are drug rehabs that accept Medicare. However, it may be difficult to find a drug rehab that accepts Medicare or a Medicare substance abuse treatment center at first search.
Pinnacle Treatment Centers has rehab locations across the nation that take Medicare. Offering treatment for drug addiction, Pinnacle’s admission team works with you or your loved one to find the best treatment program for you.
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), the cost is one of the primary reasons individuals with an alcohol or drug dependence don’t seek or receive proper treatment. This is particularly true for the elderly on fixed incomes.
If you—or a senior you love—have Medicare and are in need of treatment for an addiction issue, finding a rehab center that accepts Medicare is essential.
Medicare Addiction Treatment
Finding a rehab that takes Medicare is the first step in recovery from dependence on any substance. Once you find a few that are Medicare approved rehab centers, you’ll want to look more closely at your (or your loved one’s) specific needs. Not only do you want a rehab that takes Medicare but also one that is experienced in addressing any other needs you may have.
It is common for individuals, including the elderly, with a substance use disorder (SUD) to also have a co-occurring mental health issue or a dual diagnosis. Often seniors are isolated and lonely which can lead to depression. This is why you’ll also want to locate dual diagnosis treatment centers that accept Medicare. The most common co-occurring mental health issues include depression, anxiety disorders, and mood disorders. At Pinnacle’s opioid treatment programs, counseling is a key component of treatment and is where a lot of co-occurring issues can be addressed.
You’ll also want to see if there are any other substance abuse issues in addition to the primary substance use disorder. For example, someone’s primary dependence may be to an opiate however, after a closer look a dependence on another substance like alcohol may be a problem too. For this reason, finding a drug rehab that accepts Medicare and treats both opioid use disorder and alcohol use disorder is vital.
Pinnacle Treatment Centers has locations across the United States offering a variety of programs and treatments. At Pinnacle, we vow to be with you every step of the way on your recovery journey. Contact Pinnacle for more information on our Medicare approved rehabilitation centers.
Headquartered in New Jersey, Pinnacle Treatment Centers is a recognized leader in comprehensive drug and alcohol addiction treatment serving more than 29,000 patients daily in California, Indiana, Kentucky, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. With more than 110 community-based locations, Pinnacle provides a full continuum of quality care for adult men and women which includes medically-monitored detoxification/withdrawal management, inpatient/residential treatment, partial hospitalization/care, sober living, intensive and general outpatient programming, and medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for opioid use disorder.