The latest National Survey on Drug Use and Health reveals that Americans who are past the age of 60 may be at increased risk of problematic substance use.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration conducts the NSDUH, which provides up-to-date information on a number of health-related topics, such as mental health and tobacco, drug, and alcohol use in the United States.
Per the NSDUH, the 60-to-64-year-old age demographic saw the largest increase in past-month drug use between 2016 and 2016—38%. Right now in America, there are over 10 million drug abusers who are past the age of 40.
Of special relevance, by examining older age groups and how their past-month drug significantly changed from 2016 to 2017, we learn:
60-64 years old:
65 and older:
Because senior citizens are more likely to suffer from long-term chronic pain, they are also more frequently prescribed – and overprescribed -opioid pain drugs. As a result, SAMHSA reports that between 1992 and 2010, the number of people 50 and older who were admitted to a drug rehab program shot up 136%.
Another startling discovery from the latest NSDUH is the prevalence of problem drinking within the older population.
This level of substance abuse creates significant hazards .
Because multiple prescription drugs are typically taken at this age, drinking or drug abuse dramatically increases the likelihood of a dangerous drug interaction.
Also, because alcohol, opioids, and tranquilizers are all Central Nervous System depressants, accidental overdoses and even death become a very real possibility.
Finally, drug or alcohol intoxication can cause a person to forget if they took their medication or not. This can be the difference between safe medicating and taking too much.
The #1 takeaway from the is that ANYONE can struggle with substance abuse, dependence, and addiction. The disease doesn’t respect boundaries of age, education, income, or accomplishment.
If you are concerned about how an older loved one’s drug abuse or drinking might be endangering their health, contact Chapman House TODAY. As one of the top drug rehab programs in Orange County, Chapman House provides the structure, treatment, and support needed for successful return to sobriety.