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Big spike recorded in older drug, alcohol addicts

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posted on May, 18 2011 @ 08:29 AM

A remarkable shift in the number of older adults reporting substance abuse problems is making this scene more common. Between 1992 and 2008, treatment admissions for those 50 and older more than doubled in the U.S. That number will continue to grow, experts say, as the massive baby boom generation ages.

The growth outpaces overall population gains among older demographics. Between 2000 and 2008, substance abuse treatment admissions among those 50 and older increased by 70 percent while the overall 50-plus population grew by 21 percent. Experts say that's because boomers have historically high rates of substance abuse, often developed three or four decades ago, that comes to a head later in life.

Treatment professionals believe the actual number of older people with substance abuse problems is many times larger than the amount seeking help.

One good thing I pull from this article - More people are checking into treatment. I favor more treatment over incarceration.

I dont know the history of availible treatment programs years ago, so I cant say if these people have already tried treatment in the past.

From what I have seen, most people that go through treatment programs will use again if they personally did not want treatment. If someone actually wants treatment, and goes through a program, they are more likely to quit the addiction, atleast from what I have seen.

Experts have observed a rise in illicit drug use, while treatment for alcohol has dropped even though it remains the chief addiction among older adults. The 2008 statistics show 59.9 percent of those 50 and older seeking treatment cited alcohol as their primary substance, down from 84.6 percent in 1992. Heroin came in second, accounting for 16 percent of admissions in that age group, more than double its share in the earlier survey. Cocaine was third, at 11.4 percent, more than four times its 1992 rate.

Does this mean more people are actively seeking treatment nowdays? I hope so.
edit on 18-5-2011 by buni11687 because: (no reason given)


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