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'Graying' of Drug Users at U.S. Treatment Centers
Date:6/16/2010

ricans, 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."

More information

For more on substance abuse state by state, visit SAMSHA.



-- Alan Mozes



SOURCE: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, June 16, 2010, news release.


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