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How negligence can cause retirement home residents to abuse drugs

Many seniors move into retirement communities in Albuquerque thinking their lives will be similar to the lives of retirees they see on television and in the movies. They do not realize there is a risk of them developing a drug abuse problem. Anyone who has a loved one who is considering living in a retirement community should take preventative measure to protect their loved ones from negligence in their retirement community. 

According to the AARP, chronic pain is a condition that 40 percent of seniors suffer from. Many of these individuals rely on medications to manage pain, discomfort and other symptoms that keep them from living and enjoying their lives. Some of them develop addiction and drug abuse problems by accident and from caregiver negligence. 

One common way seniors become dependent on prescription drugs is by taking too much of them. They might do so because their symptoms are increasing and their bodies are not responding as they should to their prescribed dosage levels. It can also happen when their doctors prescribe and caregivers give them the wrong medications and wrong doses. 

People who have loved ones living in retirement communities and assisted living centers should watch for the signs of drug abuse. If their relatives seem depressed, withdrawn, confused, develop balance issues and memory loss, they should voice their concerns to their doctors. Their health care providers can assess them to determine if their conditions are the result of a drug abuse problem, health issues or aging. If it is determined that drug addiction is the problem, they should inform the retirement homes so measures can be taken to prevent medication mismanagement and facilitate treatment.

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