5 Facts Everyone Should Know About Older Adults and Addiction

Alcohol and drug abuse among older adults is one of the fastest growing health problems facing the country.

Although it isn’t talked about often, older adults in the United States are turning to drugs and alcohol at an alarming rate. Studies have found that a large population of older Americans are suffering from substance use disorders, and the number is only expected to rise. According to research, the number of Americans aged 50 and older struggling with addiction is expected to nearly double in the coming years, going from 2.8 million to 5.7 million by 2020.

In this population, substance abuse can often go unnoticed or be mistaken as a symptom of old age, but it’s important to get those who are suffering the help they need. To shed light on this growing public health issue, we partnered with Caron Treatment Centers to share the facts you need to know about older adults and addiction.

1. Older adults are hospitalized as often for alcohol-related problems as they are for heart attacks.

Old Man Pushing Wheelchair In The Snow

2. Widowers over the age of 75 have the highest rate of alcoholism in the United States.

Older Adults Fact Sheet 2

3. Healthcare professionals often miss the signs of addiction because of old age.

Older Adults Fact Sheet 3

4. Addiction to painkillers is on the rise for older adults.

Older Adults Fact Sheet 4

5. The success rate for treatment of substance use disorder in older adults is very high.

Older Adults Fact Sheet 5

An elderly woman sadly looking out the window. Melancholy and depressed.

This article features experts Sharon MatthewDr. Ming Wang and Dr. Barbara Krantz from Caron Treatment Centers.  Original article by Huffington Post 1/23/2018: 5 Facts Everyone Should Know About Older Adults and Addiction