It’s often difficult to know why a retiree behaves in ways that seem odd or challenging. It’s laborious to give one underline cause for this change, there can be more than one explanation for the behavior. Even if you know the person well, it’s hard to figure out the cause of these behaviors, and usually, we tag it with the natural aging process. It’s important to understand and explore each other before reaching the conclusion i.e., a mental health problem, social interaction, emotional, bad adaptability to this new situation, finances. There will be one or a combination of factors that may cause substance use, drug abuse and gambling problems in retirees, including a person’s life situation, emotional problems (e.g., stress, loneliness or grief) and physical problems. Retirees may have struggled with addiction and other challenges for many years, or the challenge may have begun more recently.
Substance and Drug abuse
Retirement is often framed by retirees as a major life event and a significant act as a risk factor for alcohol misuse. Dr. Diane Rothon of Alavida Health says, “Alcohol is the most commonly abused substance by retirees.” A variety of individual attributes and situational factors influence retirement. In fact, alcohol misuse in retirees is not straightforward but in one Canadian study, it found that by the age of 65 their daily drinking habits increased 9 times from usual. Many older adults have problems with their substance or alcohol abuse are difficulty coping with retirement or the death of a loved one. Probably drug abuse is influenced they frame retirement. Drug abuse among retirees may be a combination of multiple prescriptions from doctors, from family members or peers, or by stockpiling medications over time. Retirees largely focused on prescription drug use. The problems develop when they are isolated from friends and family, or as family and friends stay away from them. They may feel they cannot stop drinking, even when alcohol causes problems with their health. By age, they become more sensitive to the effects of alcohol, and reduces muscle control, increasing the risk of injuries due to falls.
Gambling is harmless entertainment but some older adults developed gambling habits to the level of addiction. Some retirees developed the gambling foible to escape from everyday stress, an escape from problems and psychological co-morbidity. Retirees often have more free time for gambling than then their pre-retirement phase. However, this habit seriously impacts their financial well-being. Losing money isn’t the only risk of gambling because there is a chance to win money. However, this gambling addiction can also affect a person’s physical health and may even lose their savings or home. “For the problem gambler, making a bet is not just about having fun or winning money. Gambling becomes an emotional response to change the way they feel.” according to the Nevada Council on Problem Gambling. There are many factors whose impact is uncertain or contradictory, but its involvement revolves from not gambling at all, too social gambling and to the level of addiction. There are pieces of literature that reviewed shows senior’s motivation to stave off boredom and loneliness might be the consequence of addiction.