Retirement and Addiction

Mental Health Tips for Retirees

It goes without saying that as we age, we have to be more diligent about our health, both our physical health and our mental health. We may be more susceptible to the common cold or realize that our bodies are more fragile than they once were in our older years. With this comes added stress which can be hard to live with. Being worn-down and have anxiety involving your health can lead to substance abuse as a means to escape.

Those of retirement years often find themselves in poorer health than they once were. They also find themselves with ample free time and not enough hobbies to fulfill it. This can often lead to unintended substance abuse such as enjoying one too many alcoholic drinks every evening.

Mental Health Tips

With ongoing stress, addiction may slowly sneak in and, contrary to what many people think, addiction among those who are 60+ is fairly high. The good news is that many old-age benefit plans offer help in funding the cost of addiction treatment for seniors.

If you are taking medically-prescribed medication and are consuming more than a couple of drinks per day, you may want to speak to your doctor about mixing the two. The interaction of prescription drugs with alcohol can have a lasting effect on your memory as well as negatively affect your sleeping patterns. In turn, the quality of your life can be compromised. The early detection of addiction can help you live a long, healthy, and prosperous life.

Continue to be Social

Since retirees have a lot of free time on their hands, it’s important that they maintain their friendships. Not only will it boost their social abilities and ability to hold a steady conversation, studies show that being social also lessens your chances of depression. Social isolation is a huge contributor to depression so it’s important that you meet with your friends regularly. Joining a gym or yoga class is also beneficial for those who want to become more social in their retirement.

Remember that your mental health is equally as important as your physical health which many people often forget. Poor mental health can lead to poor physical health and can lead to an overall unhealthy lifestyle.

Get an Emotional Support Animal

There are many studies that prove that owning a pet enhances the quality of your life both in your younger years as well as your older years. Animals give you a sense of purpose and unconditional love. They also provide you with constant companionship which many single retirees or ones who do not have close family members benefit from. Pets such as dogs are also beneficial for your physical health as you must walk them several times per day, enhancing your mobility and energy levels.

Some of the main contributors to addiction in retirement are:

  • Stress
  • More freedom
  • Less responsibility
  • A feeling of having less of a purpose

There are many types of addiction treatment programs aimed at retirees that can help you in your struggle with addiction.

The truth of the matter is that we spend the majority of our lives working and adhering to a schedule. Generally speaking, our lives up until retirement are busy and schedule-oriented. What this does is leave some of us vulnerable when the retirement years hit.

According to a recent study, close to 10 percent of them are admitted to addiction treatment programs and hospitals as a result of their substance abuse. This is especially concerning as senior citizens health may not be what it used to be making them more vulnerable to illnesses as a result of substance abuse.

It’s important that you seek the professional help of an addiction treatment facility today if you feel as though your substance abuse is taking you down a dangerous path.


If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.

About the Author

is a proud alumni member of WhiteSands Treatment. After living a life of chaos, destruction and constant let downs, Mark was able to make a complete turnaround that sparked a new way of life. He is serious about his recovery along with helping others. At WhiteSands Treatment, we offer support to you in your homes or when you are out living in your daily lives.