Rehab for Seniors

According to the NIH, more than 1 million American adults over the age of 65 were living with a substance use disorder in 2018.[1] A recent SAMHSA report shows that the most common substance that seniors abuse is alcohol. Heroin use is also a common problem amongst seniors.[2] In fact, the rate of people over the age of 50 who were admitted to outpatient opioid addiction treatment programs increased as much as 22% in a four-year period in some places. Due to the growing substance use issue amongst older adults, rehab for seniors is necessary.
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Rehab for Seniors in Tennessee

Socio Economic issues are often tied to an increase in substance misuse. For example, in parts of Tennessee and Virginia, many seniors are considered at risk of developing substance use issues due to poverty, isolation in rural areas, lack of transportation, and lack of education.[3]

For all older adults, trauma and age-related concerns add to the risks of developing substance use disorders.[1] Financial issues, family stress, losing loved ones, and multiple health issues simply due to old age can lead to depression and other mental health conditions that increase the risk of developing an addiction.

Since one-fifth of Tennessee’s adult population includes seniors, chronic health issues and how they relate to addiction are a growing concern for the state’s health officials.[4] On top of all that, older adults tend to use triple the amount of prescription medications that younger people do. This alone puts senior citizens at a greater risk of developing addiction to prescription drugs than their younger counterparts.[5]

The Tennessee Commission on Aging and Disability has several initiatives to help make resources easier for seniors to access, including increasing the amount of addiction treatment and education on substance misuse risks.[6] Addiction treatment facilities are also trying to help with these initiatives by offering specialized rehab for seniors in Tennessee.

Options for Rehab for Seniors

Elderly handsAddiction treatment facilities in Tennessee understand that seniors face a unique set of risks and challenges when it comes to addiction. Tennessee addiction treatment facilities also understand that seniors face some potential barriers to treatment. These potential barriers include matters such as living in rural areas and having limited mobility.

Fortunately, there are plenty of addiction treatment resources now that help address these issues and make rehab for seniors more accessible. As a result, seniors can take advantage of the following addiction treatment programs.

Medical Detox

The first step to overcoming addiction is almost always medical detox. Medical detox is detox program at facilities where there are physicians and medical staff on standby.

The reason why it’s so important for all individuals detoxing from substances, in particular, those that are seniors, to attend detox at a medical detox facility is so that there are doctors there to assist if anything goes wrong. Also, only at medical detox facilities can detox patients receive medication-assisted treatment to help them manage severe withdrawal symptoms. This is huge as many of the withdrawal symptoms to substances can be deadly.

During detox, the goal is to help the body naturally rid itself of all toxic substances. Without supervision or the right medications to help make detox safer, people are more likely to relapse and use substances again and possibly overdose. Thus, every individual looking to attend addiction treatment, especially those that are senior citizens, should first receive professional detox services at a medical detox facility or rehab facility like Grace Land Recovery.

Outpatient Program

Outpatient program (OP) treatment is addiction treatment that occurs at a rehab facility for approximately a couple of hours a day, a couple of days a week. All outpatient forms of addiction treatment don’t require their patients to live in rehab facilities while receiving care. Therefore, outpatient program patients can live in their own homes and essentially live normal lives when not at rehab. People who have a lower risk of relapse and those who cannot travel to a facility every day are often good candidates for this treatment structure. Grace Land Recovery offers outpatient program rehab for seniors.

Intensive Outpatient Program

People whose needs are greater than what a standard outpatient program offers may go through intensive outpatient program (IOP) treatment. Just like all forms of outpatient addiction treatment, IOP patients don’t have to live in rehab facilities while receiving care.

Intensive outpatient program sessions usually last around a few hours a day and occur around a few days each week. Rehab for seniors that are IOPs are for older adults with moderate level addictions. Seniors can receive intensive outpatient program treatment at here at Grace Land as well.

Partial Hospitalization Program

A partial hospitalization program (PHP) is better for people who have a higher risk of relapse as it’s the most intensive form of outpatient addiction treatment. Many partial hospitalization programs involve five to seven sessions each week that last around five to eight hours. Therefore, seniors that plan to attend PHP treatment should make sure that they can afford to spend their entire days in treatment. If so, Grace Land offers quality PHP rehab for seniors.

Case Management

Another addiction treatment service that we offer here at Grace Land is case management. Case managers can act as advocates for seniors who need addiction treatment. This is because, during the course of treatment, case managers can oversee care plans and ensure that seniors receive the care that they need.

Therefore, if a senior experiences hardships that make the risk of relapse higher, it helps to communicate that to his or her case manager. The case manager can then relay the concerns to staff at the senior’s treatment facility so that a care plan can be created that fits the changing needs of the senior.

Holistic Treatment

Holistic rehab for seniors is for older adults who prefer a more natural approach to addiction treatment. Designed to treat the mind, body, and soul, holistic treatment programs often include activities such as exercise, yoga, meditation, acupuncture, massage, and more.

Although holistic treatments don’t replace conventional addiction treatments, they help rehab patients improve their overall well-being. This, in turn, reduces the chances of patients relapsing. We here at Grace Land offer holistic forms of treatment for those that are interested.

Telehealth Treatment

Telehealth treatment is rehab that occurs virtually. Seniors who choose to take advantage of telehealth treatment still have access to qualified counselors and medical professionals.

Telehealth addiction treatment is a good option for seniors with limited mobility or poor physical health. Also, telehealth treatment is helpful for seniors who live in rural areas and lack adequate transportation. Grace Land offers telehealth treatment.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment

Dual diagnosis treatment is an approach that addresses two issues simultaneously. This form of treatment is especially effective for people who suffer from addiction and a co-occurring mental health disorder. For example, a person who suffers from depression and misuses stimulants can benefit from dual diagnosis treatment.

Treating both issues in a dual diagnosis is critical since each issue within a dual diagnosis often acts as a trigger for the other issue within a dual diagnosis. Therefore, someone who doesn’t receive adequate treatment for depression while receiving addiction treatment may be more likely to relapse.

Some people also develop a mental health condition after they start using a substance. For example, a person who uses pain pills after surgery may develop an addiction to those pain pills that spark up that person’s anxiety.

Anxiety and depression are particularly mental illnesses that often co-occur with substance addictions. In fact, in June of 2020, the CDC and NIH conducted a survey among American adults. They found that 13% started using substances or increased their use of them, and more than 30% reported feeling depressed or anxious.[7] Loneliness, financial concerns, and insufficient diet were contributing factors, and these are all factors that many seniors face today.


Therapy is a part of every treatment program. Depending on individual needs, the combination of therapy approaches can vary. Counselors often use cognitive behavioral therapy and dialectical behavior therapy to help people identify reasons for behaviors and modify them. This helps people learn how to manage addiction triggers and replace bad habits with healthier ones. Rational emotive behavior therapy helps people understand negative thoughts and question them. There is also anger management therapy to help people deal with the sources of anger and find better ways to express themselves.

Experiential therapy involves activity participation to help people develop a healthier sense of self. Trauma therapy is helpful for people who have gone through traumatic experiences. It gives them the tools to cope and deal with other stresses in life. All of these forms of addiction therapy are offered here at Grace Land Recovery.

All forms of addiction therapy come in an individual, group, and family therapy structure. Individual therapy focuses on the effects the addiction has on the individual. Family therapy explores the effects of the addiction on the entire family and individual members.

Group therapy includes others with addiction struggles. During this therapy, participants share their thoughts, struggles, and suggestions with one another.

Addiction Treatment for Seniors in Tennessee

If you’re looking for treatment options for yourself or a loved one, Grace Land Recovery is here to help. Grace Land Recovery is a dual diagnosis treatment center. Thus we specialize in treating different substance addictions and their co-occurring mental illnesses.

Our rehab facility also offers specialized rehab programs for people in different stages of life. In fact, we offer rehab for seniors. Thus, older adults that are looking to overcome addiction can receive help at our treatment center.

Here at Grace Land Recovery, we customize treatment plans to fit the individual needs of seniors and provide compassionate support for the start of every person’s recovery journey. By providing comprehensive care and education, we equip our patients with the tools to beat the cycle of addiction and any co-occurring mental illness that they may be suffering from.

To learn more about Grace Land Recovery and our treatment programs, contact us today!


Signs of Substance Misuse Among Seniors

If you have a friend or family member who is a senior and may have a substance use disorder, it is important to know the signs. Most people do their best to hide their addictions from friends or family. Without seeing the misuse of medications or other substances firsthand, it can often be difficult to confirm whether or not a person has a substance use disorder. Thus, a combination of several signs may indicate that it is time to find an interventionist for help.

These are some signs to watch for:

  • The person often talks about losing prescriptions soon after a refill and may ask for more.
  • There is a sudden change in behavior or mood
  • During the day, the individual nods off or sleeps much more than usual
  • The individual may ask two or more doctors to fill or refill a prescription
  • There is a sudden increase in confusion that is not related to aging
  • The person prefers to be alone and withdraws from family or social gatherings
  • At home, the person neglects hygiene and house cleaning

If alcohol is the substance a senior is misusing, there may be empty bottles in the trash or hidden in the home. Also, the individual may smell like alcohol.

There are other signs of some types of drug misuse such as dilated pupils, anxiousness, lethargy, unusual talkativeness, or major mood swings. The effects a person displays often relate to the type of substance they use. For example, a stimulant may make a person unusually energetic, and prescription opioids may make a person unusually sleepy.

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Our mission is to help individuals achieve sobriety by getting to the root of their addiction issues. We also aim to treat the minds, bodies, and souls of our patients.

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