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Substance Abuse in Nursing Home Residents

With the prevalence of substance abuse increasing across almost all demographics, it is no surprise that the issue of substance abuse has arisen with respect to nursing home residents. While it may seem far-fetched to imagine nursing home patients being addicted to prescription medication or even illegal drugs, the reality is that substance abuse is a potential problem for these individuals, just as much as it is for other groups of people.

For one thing, not all nursing home residents are elderly; about 15% of residents nationwide are under the age of 65. With residents spanning a wider age range, it is not so surprising that substance abuse has risen among residents. Since residents may be of drastically different ages, it becomes more difficult for nursing homes to adequately staff, supervise, and meet all of their residents’ individual needs. Plus, nursing homes tend to gravitate toward the needs and desires of elderly residents, which may leave other younger residents out altogether. Feeling left out, when combined with possible mental and/or physical illness, can result in a higher risk of substance abuse among some nursing home residents.

Other characteristics that nursing home residents may possess also may make them more susceptible to substance abuse. Many, if not most, nursing home residents are vulnerable and subject to both emotional and physical stressors. A large number of residents also regularly take medication that has the potential for abuse and dangerous effects if not properly prescribed, dosed correctly, and carefully monitored. These characteristics in nursing home residents create a much higher risk of substance abuse.

The nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers of Bonner & Vaughan are experienced in ensuring that nursing homes and other long-term care facilities live up to reasonable standards in prescribing, administering, and monitoring the medication given to their patients. When a nursing facility fails to do so, and injury to a resident occurs, the nursing facility may be liable for those injuries. We know how to investigate your case, assess your situation and determine whether you or your loved one has any potential claims against nursing home staff or the nursing home itself. Contact Boller & Vaughan today and learn how we can help you through this difficult situation.