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Illegal Drug Use Increases Among Senior Adults

May 31st, 2010 · No Comments

The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) states that the number of older adults using drugs will increase in the next two decades. It has been predicted that by the year 2020, the number of persons needing treatment for a substance use disorder will double among persons aged 50 or older as the baby boom generation moves into older adulthood.

Illicit drug use is associated with numerous health and social problems, and age-related physiological, psychological, and social changes make older adults more vulnerable to the detrimental effects of illicit drug use.

NSDUH defines illicit drugs as marijuana/hashish, cocaine (including crack), inhalants, hallucinogens, heroin, or prescription-type drugs used nonmedically. Nonmedical use is defined as the use of prescription-type pain relievers, tranquilizers, stimulants, and sedatives that were not prescribed for the respondent by a physician or used only for the experience or feeling they caused.

Marijuana use was more common than nonmedical use of prescription-type drugs for adults aged 50 to 59, but among those aged 65 or older, nonmedical use of prescription-type drugs was more common than marijuana use.

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Tags: News - Addiction and Alternative Health

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