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Substance Abuse

Substance Abuse

People abuse substances such as drugs, alcohol, and tobacco for varied and complicated reasons. Whatever these reasons are it can lead to complications such as reduced brain activity, it can influence alertness, affect coordination and reaction times, and increases the risk of injuries/falls.
The aging process causes people to absorb and dispose of alcohol and medication differently, which can be very serious or even fatal. Substance abuse can occur simply by not taking medications as prescribed or it can be a deliberate and planned misuse of substances.
People may develop a problem with substance abuse because of: loneliness, death of friends/family member, failing health, retirement, changing residences; and, reduced income.

Actions Caregiver/Attendant Should Take If Substance Abuse Is Suspected
•  Watch for signs of substance abuse when interacting with the client or family caregiver.
•  Be aware that problems can develop when prescription medications are combined with  alcohol.
•  Ensure that the person on the care-giving team, who is responsible for taking ction for substance  abuse, is apprised of the situation.

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