SOURCE: Malibu Horizon

Malibu Horizon

September 23, 2011 15:42 ET

USC Educator and Addiction Medicine Pioneer Dr. Akikur Mohammad Warns of Elderly Addiction Epidemic

Pioneer of Non-12 Step Model Dr. Akikur Mohammad and His Malibu Horizon Team Fight to Curb Addiction Among Elderly

MALIBU, CA--(Marketwire - Sep 23, 2011) - Dr. Akikur Mohammad, Founder of Malibu Horizon, the leading non 12-step treatment center in Malibu, California and Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and the Behavioral Sciences at the University of Southern California (USC.edu), announced today that the Malibu Horizon's team is seeing a staggering increase in elderly patients struggling with alcohol and substance abuse problems.

Dr. Mohammad said, "Through our own research and experience, it is clear that the elderly patients we treat have either been abusing substances since their youth and never been detected, or are individuals who have succumbed to health issues associated with aging and over medicate; regardless, the toll substance abuse takes on an aging body is lethal." Mohammad added, "Since alcohol has a higher absorption rate in the elderly, the same amount of alcohol produces higher blood alcohol levels, causing a greater degree of intoxication than the same amount of alcohol would cause in younger drinkers."

Dr. Mohammad and his team will include this sensitive topic in their developing series of 'town hall' meetings in an effort to educate the public and encourage physicians to be better prepared for this very real epidemic. Mohammad added, "Alcohol and substance abuse in this generation is complicated by the use of prescription and over-the-counter medications. The elderly spend over $500 million yearly on medications. Combining medications and alcohol frequently results in significant adverse reactions and due to a reduction in blood flow to the liver and kidneys in the elderly, there can be a 50% decrease in the rate of metabolism of some medications, especially benzodiazepines. Additionally, chlordiazepoxide and diazepam have such long half lives in the elderly that prolonged sedation from these drugs, combined with the sedative effects of alcohol, can increase the risk of falls and fractures. The benzodiazepine user may become confused and take extra doses or other medications, causing overdose or death."

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