Opioid Crisis Increases Cases of Elder Abuse in America
Of all the dangers stemming from the opioid epidemic in the United States, the abuse of the elderly population by addicts has left everyone stunned. The opioid crisis has led to unprecedented abuse of the elderly in the home by adult children who are addicted. According to a recent report published in the Boston Globe, there is a 37 percent increase in elder abuse cases in Massachusetts over the past five years.
The trend shows that adult children who indulge in substance use mostly move in with their elderly grandparents. The gullible old men become easy prey for these addicts because some of them receive social security checks and other pension checks.
Adult children who become addicted constantly need resources to finance their addiction, and these financially stable adults become their easy targets. They are then financially, physically and emotionally abused by the addicts.
Money and valuables are often lost
Drugs and pills are expensive, and addicts need enough money to maintain a steady stream. Often these addicts are also out of work because the addiction makes them unable to continue in their work. So they resort to stealing things from the house: money, jewelry, other valuables, whatever they have in their hands. The police have reported numerous cases of theft of jewelry, money and other valuables.
Nor can cases of physical aggression be ruled out. Police, firefighters and emergency medical services teams have become extremely vigilant in tracking down such incidents. According to the Boston Globe According to the report, Middlesex District Attorney Marian T. Ryan asked first responders to look for unusual bruises on the wrists and forearms of the elderly, as they could be signs of a fight with their addicted grandchildren. The fear is that addicts may try to achieve these things through coercion. Ryan has also asked them to look for enough food in the fridge and other signs of abuse in the house, as a diligent search of the house can reveal other dark secrets and traces of rampant abuse. The problem isn’t just in Massachusetts, it’s sweeping across the United States.
How to contain the increasing violence in the home
The first step is to sensitize the general population and ensure the safety of the elderly. Quick response numbers and helpline should be available so that one can call for help at the touch of a button. The parents of these young addicts also have a key role to play and provide security for their own parents from potentially violent grandchildren.
Treatment options available
The inevitable solution to all these diseases is proper treatment as soon as possible. Addiction is more of a disease than a crime. Therefore, it is a duty to bring every addict to the level of treatment and eliminate the scourge of society.