Friday, November 27, 2015

Huge Increase In Opioid Addiction Among Seniors

From the National Institutes of Health, MedlinePlus, "Those in Their 50s Now Largest Group Battling Addiction to Narcotics: Study: Big jump also seen in those aged 60 and older needing treatment for painkiller, heroin abuse" by Robert Preidt:
Older adults are now the largest age group seeking help in narcotic painkiller and heroin treatment programs, a study based in New York City found.
People aged 50 to 59 accounted for about 8 percent of narcotic painkiller and heroin treatment patients in 1996, but they represented nearly 36 percent in 2012. The proportion of patients aged 60 to 69 also rose dramatically, from 1.5 percent to 12 percent, the study revealed.

"These increases are especially striking, considering there was about a 7.6 percent decrease in the total patient population over that period of time, and suggests that we are facing a never before seen epidemic of older adults with substance use disorders and increasing numbers of older adults in substance abuse treatment," Han said.

The proportion of such patients aged 40 and younger fell from about 56 percent in 1996 to about 20 percent in 2012, the study showed.


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