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Dramatic Rise In The Proportion Of Older Americans Admitted For Substance Abuse Treat

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  1. John Doe
    'Graying' of Drug Users at U.S. Treatment Centers

    'Graying' of Drug Users at U.S. Treatment Centers

    Dramatic jump in aging Boomers seeking help for drug abuse, study finds

    WEDNESDAY, June 16 (HealthDay News) -- Among Americans aged 50 and older, admissions for drug abuse treatment have nearly doubled between 1992 and 2008, a new study reveals.

    Admissions for cocaine, heroin, prescription drugs, and/or marijuana abuse among men and women aged 50 and older rose from 6.6 percent in 1992 to just over 12 percent by 2008, according to researchers from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service's Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

    Even though alcohol abuse remains today's number one cause of substance treatment admissions among older Americans, the group's rate of admission for illegal drug abuse increased dramatically over the course of the study.

    "These findings show the changing scope of substance abuse problems in America," SAMHSA administrator Pamela S. Hyde said in a news release. "The graying of drug users in America is an issue for any programs and communities providing health or social services for seniors."

    The observed trends stem from an analysis of information collected by SAMHSA's ongoing treatment facility reporting system. Among the findings:

    Admissions for alcohol abuse among people 50 and older dropped during the course of the study period, from a high of nearly 85 percent to just under 60 percent.

    Heroin abuse more than doubled, accounting for 16 percent of all admission for people aged 50 and over in 2008, in contrast to just over 7 percent in 1992.

    Cocaine abuse admissions among older Americans quadrupled, from just under 3 percent to more than 11 percent, while marijuana-related admissions rose from less than 1 percent to nearly 3 percent.

    Prescription drug abuse also experienced an uptick, rising from less than 1 percent to 3.5 percent.

    Abuse of more than one drug at a time also jumped among older Americans, with the proportion of admissions due to multiple substance disorders nearly tripling, from nearly 14 percent in 1992 to almost 40 percent by 2008.

    Researchers found that 75 percent of the admissions of people aged 50 and older occurred among people who had first abused drugs before they reached the age of 25. Nevertheless, they noted that older Americans were increasingly coming in due to the abuse of a substance they had only first begun using the five years before treatment admission.

    In people who had used drugs they sought treatment for less than five years, cocaine led the list, accounting for 26.2 percent of all such cases. Prescription drug abuse lagged just behind, at 25.8 percent.

    "The Administration on Aging supports healthy aging," Kathy Greenlee, the agency's assistant secretary, said in the same release. "A critical aspect of senior health is the ability to be free of alcohol and drug addiction. It is troubling, therefore, to see an increasing number of older Americans struggling with substance abuse. This is a trend we must address for the benefit of each individual now as well as a generation of baby boomers on the doorstep of old age."

    Alan Mozes
    June 16, 2010
    http://www.businessweek.com/lifestyle/content/healthday/640171.html

Comments

  1. KingMe
    Dramatic Rise In The Proportion Of Older Americans Admitted For Substance Abuse Treatment From 1992 To 2008

    A new study reveals that between 1992 and 2008 the proportion of substance abuse treatment admissions involving older Americans (aged 50 and older) nearly doubled -- from 6.6 percent of all admissions in 1992 to 12.2 percent in 2008. The study, sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), also shows a sharp rise during this period in the proportion of older Americans admissions related to illicit drug abuse -- even though alcohol abuse is still the leading cause for admissions involving this age group.

    Among its more notable findings the SAMHSA study reveals that from 1992 to 2008 the proportion of admissions among this age group due primarily to:

    - Heroin abuse more than doubled -- from 7.2 percent to 16.0 percent.
    - Cocaine abuse quadrupled -- from 2.9 percent to 11.4 percent.
    - Prescription drug abuse rose from 0.7 percent to 3.5 percent.
    - Marijuana abuse increased from 0.6 percent to 2.9 percent.

    At the same time admissions primarily related to alcohol abuse decreased from 84.6 percent in 1992 to 59.9 percent in 2008.

    The proportion of older American treatment admissions involving multiple substance disorders has nearly tripled from 13.7 percent in 1992 to 39.7 percent in 2008. For example, the proportion of admissions involving any alcohol abuse in combination with any cocaine abuse more than tripled - from 5.3 percent in 1992 to 16.2 percent in 2008.

    While the study showed that over three quarters of all older American treatment admissions initiated use of their primary substance by the age of 25, an increasing proportion of admissions involved substances that had only been initiated within five years prior to admission. In 2008, cocaine abuse was the leading primary cause of admissions involving substances initiated in the past five years (26.2 percent) among older Americans, with prescription drug misuse a close second (25.8 percent).

    "These findings show the changing scope of substance abuse problems in America." said SAMHSA Administrator Pamela S. Hyde, J.D. "The graying of drug users in America is an issue for any programs and communities providing health or social services for seniors."

    "The Administration on Aging supports healthy aging," said Kathy Greenlee, Assistant Secretary for Aging. "A critical aspect of senior health is the ability to be free of alcohol and drug addiction. It is troubling, therefore, to see an increasing number of older Americans struggling with substance abuse. This is a trend we must address for the benefit of each individual now as well as a generation of baby boomers on the doorstep of old age."

    SAMHSA sponsored the study as part of the agency's strategic initiative on data, outcomes and quality - an effort to create integrated data systems that help inform policy makers and providers on behavioral health issues.

    Changing Substance Abuse Patterns among Older Admissions: 1992 and 2008 is based on data from SAMHSA's Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS) - a reporting system involving treatment facilities from across the country. The full report is available on line.


    17 Jun 2010
    Source
    http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/191993.php
  2. dyingtomorrow
    Re: Dramatic Rise In The Proportion Of Older Americans Admitted For Substance Abuse T

    Baby boomer gen = more old people?

    1960s drug using hippies are entering their "golden years"?

    We are losing our freedoms so fast that people are depressed and turning to drugs?

    People becoming less brainwashed by our stupid government and trying new things?

    Could be any number of reasons.
  3. godztear
    Re: Dramatic Rise In The Proportion Of Older Americans Admitted For Substance Abuse T

    I actually watched a new story on this very topic on kfvs channel 12 the other day, also located at www.kfvs12.com

    It was actually kinda weird to hear the stories from people who look like grandma's going on about how they would get high on their way to work, then come to find out they are like CEO of a bank or a retired coke addicted lawyer who lost their license.
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