May 31, 2012

Survey: Addiction levels rise in Boomers, seniors

A recent survey has found that a significant number of older adults are heavily partaking in drugs and alcohol, and the number of those 50 years and older in treatment is “drastically on the rise,” Senior Housing News reports. levels will continue to rise unless there’s more early intervention and treatment, says the Hanley Center, a drug and alcohol treatment center owned by Caron Treatment Centers.  According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the number of older adults — those in the Boomer generation and senior range — who reported using illegal drugs in a year almost doubled between 2002 and 2007.

Senior Housing News reports that while most survey respondents (79 percent) reported their first experiences with drugs or alcohol occurred before the age of 25, 40 percent said they didn’t become substance abusers until after age 48.

Of those who became substance abusers after the age of 48, many named prescription drugs and alcohol as their substances of choice. The main reason for the abuse? Depression or anxiety was found to be the No. 1 reason older adults abuse drugs or alcohol, with other factors being economic or financial stress and retirement.

Click here to read the full article in Senior Housing News.

For tips for the aging addict, and for older adults to avoid the pitfalls of addiction, read Renew’s article, “Steps for the Boomer generation to avoid addiction pitfalls.”

Image courtesy of Ambro/

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