October 1, 2020

Alzheimer’s and Addiction: How to Approach Treatment

By: Holly Klamer
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Table of Contents

Medicially Reviewed By:
Dr. Priya Chaudhri
credentials here

Alzheimer’s disease has no treatment and no means to delay the worsening of the disorder. Fortunately, Alzheimer’s care facilities for seniors are there to assist us towards guiding the needs of our seniors.

There are so many subsets that can be specifically related to substance abuse disorder, whereas dementia can be incurable. It is because, at such a higher pace than aging alone, medications and alcohol destroy neurons.

One research showed that in middle age, individuals who ingested five or more bottles of alcohol in one session or one glass of wine are three times more probable to experience dementia by the time they reached 65 than individuals who did not consume excessive drink.

While dementia caused by Alzheimer’s and alcohol seem identical, their effects are distinct. That’s why it’s indeed necessary to consider attending senior assisted living homes and facilities to make sure that we get the best support for our seniors. Treatment for alcohol addiction can be done in an inpatient alcohol rehab center before going to a memory care home.

Here are the things that you need to know about Alzheimer’s and Addiction.

What is Addiction and Alzheimer’s Disease?

Alzheimer’s disease allows the mind of an individual to devolve and inhibits their memory, social control, comprehension, and vision greatly. Alzheimer’s as well as other causes of dementia become primarily known as adverse effects among seniors, often resulting in things like delusions, hallucinations, and even something called the Sundowners Syndrome.

That said, on some occasions where these conditions are known to be spontaneous and can affect any person despite their maturity level. Various factors including a genetic background as well as environmental influences cause the brain modifications correlated with Alzheimer’s.

The links between Alzheimer’s and the misuse of medications or alcohol remain well-known. Individuals who have been abusing insanely addictive drugs for a significant amount of time can induce dementia or speed up Alzheimer’s-related neurological harm.

Signs, Symptoms, and Diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease and Addiction

Reliable dementia diagnosis, like Alzheimer’s, necessitates the guidance of a specialist. The preparation and capabilities to fully understand the signs of chronic neurological disease are accessible to medical practitioners.

Alzheimer’s common symptoms are:

  • Short-term difficulties in memory
  • Poor attention and focus
  • A deterioration in problem-solving skills
  • Forgetting people, addresses, and experiences
  • Communication and voice problems
  • Physical endurance and balance failure
  • Loneliness
  • Getting caught up even in common locations
  • The perceptible decline in hearing ability
  • Modifications of temperament and attitude
  • Loss of expertise in essential self-care.
  • Ambiguity connected with time
  • Trouble learning or managing new data
  • Aggressive or aggressive answer to caregivers, relatives, and peers.

For drug abuse disorders to be identified, two of the preceding signs have to be recognized. And the condition is considered serious if six signs are known.

  • Increased sensitivity to substances or alcohol, increasing the frequency of use
  • Many initiatives have struggled to limit or discourage alcohol and opioid use.
  • Alcohol or medications are consumed more often, for a longer time, and in larger concentrations than originally expected.
  • As a consequence of substance or alcohol misuse, technical and personal obligations are ignored.
  • Substance dependence triggers or worsens behavioral or social problems.
  • It takes a long time to develop, use and recover again from the impact of medications or alcohol.
  • Treasured social or leisure practices in favor of drinking or medications are neglected.
  • Due to various alcohol or substance addictions, mental well-being or physical conditions develop; but the addiction still persists.
  • Usage of drugs adds to reckless or harmful actions.
  • Serious and unmanageable cravings for the use of alcohol or medications
  • Strong signs of withdrawal

When an individual does have mental health problems, there are qualified physicians who are able to diagnose drug and alcohol abuse.

Dosage and Side Effects

Physicians typically begin patients with low doses of the medication and steadily raise the dosage depending on how effectively the medication is handled by a patient. There are also some growing evidence amounts of cholinesterase inhibitor prescriptions may help several patients. Nevertheless, the larger the dosage, the more possible the side effects appear.

Patients may be opioid-sensitive in some areas, and before an opioid is initiated, they can be watched. Disclose any troubling signs promptly to the treating doctor. While having any drug, even vitamins and vitamin products, it is essential to obey the doctor’s orders.

Also, when adding certain drugs or changing them, let the doctor be informed.

Risk Factors

Any of the health conditions that boost the risks of Alzheimer’s and dementia are:

  • Age. The threat of Alzheimer’s disease rises every five years after the age of 65.
  • Genetics. Studies have found that early-onset and late-onset Alzheimer’s can be caused by hereditary gene defects, whereas some hereditary gene variants can raise the risk of a person having the condition.
  • Heart and blood vessel conditions. Both contributing factors for Alzheimer’s involve developing heart disease, diabetes, increased blood pressure, high blood pressure, or even a record of strokes.
  • Brain neurological disorder. In older life, even brain accidents that arise early in life will boost the likelihood of signs of Alzheimer’s.
  • Poor lifestyle. Dozens of research have shown that nutritional changes, daily exercise, reducing stress, avoiding smoking, and eliminating prolonged lack of sleep will shield a person from Alzheimer’s disease.

Treatment and Prognosis for Addiction and Alzheimer’s Disease

While Alzheimer’s care that doesn’t involve addiction can be treated in memory care facilities, a variation of client, group, and family counseling will be used in the treatment services for men and women with substance reliance and Alzheimer’s disease, with all therapy sessions conducted in a relaxed and supportive way in a healthy, supportive setting designed to encourage healing. The speed of counseling will be dictated by the preferences and conditions of a patient, and nothing that brings them undue discomfort or contributes to their distress will never be required to do.

Treatments regarding depression, anxiety, and the signs of dementia can be offered in relation to treatment, based on the advice of experts in alcohol and mental wellbeing. Patients who are willing to engage in such programs can be given comprehensive recovery services, like counseling, physical therapy, exercise, acupuncture, and exercise training.

As individuals with Alzheimer’s disease have such a diminished desire to handle their lives on their own, therapy programs will be critical for recovery. For those who experience this condition, complete recovery from Alzheimer’s disease can not be realistic, even though their drug abuse disorders are taken under control.

However, with the caring and competent support of skilled caregivers, addiction counselors, and supportive family members who are eager to respond to the healing process in whatever manner they can, changes hence the standard of living will be accomplished.

Bottom Line

For individuals who develop dementia, like Alzheimer’s, recovering from substance or alcohol abuse can be extremely hard. Such disorders cause harm to the vision, memory, and cognitive ability of a person. And then when associated with drug or alcohol misuse, the effects of Alzheimer’s disease intensify.

Even so, amid the difficulties, there are rehab programs that have developed therapy regimens that address the particular demands of patients with Alzheimer’s, including such correlated treatment.

Our team of experts is here to help you.