Study: Substance-abuse help among older adults rises 32%

Share this content:

The number of older adults admitted for substance abuse treatment increased by 32% from 1995 to 2002, according to a recent study.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration found that the number of older adults using opiates as their primary substance of abuse rose 6.8% to 12%, over time. Opiates include prescription pain medications and heroin. They are the second-most common reason behind alcohol for substance abuse treatment admissions among older adults.

"We are only beginning to realize the pervasiveness of substance abuse among older adults," Charles Curie, SAMHSA administrator, said in a prepared statement.