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Substance abuse among older people ‘growing rapidly

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Substance abuse among older people ‘growing rapidly as binge drinking becomes commonplace for ageing population’

Women are especially prone to drinking in later life – particularly when it’s triggered by retirement, bereavement, losing contact with family and friends and social isolation

Our ageing population is throwing up unexpected problems. Who would have guessed that substance abuse among older people would ever cause health concerns? Well, it is.

The number of older people (over 50) having problems from substance misuse is growing rapidly, with the number receiving treatment expected to double in Europe by 2020 according to the British Medical Journal.

The surprising fact is that risky drinking is declining overall — except among people aged 50 and older. There’s also a great increase in binge drinking in this age group.

In Australia, the largest percentage increase in drug misuse between 2013 and 2016 was among people aged 60 and over, mainly involving prescription drugs. However, people over 50 also have higher rates than younger age groups of illicit drug misuse (particularly cannabis).

Women are especially prone to drinking in later life, particularly when it’s triggered by retirement, bereavement, losing contact with family and friends, and social isolation. Alcohol misuse is also on the rise among “baby boomers” (people born 1946 to 1964) in Asian countries. For complete article (Growing Old Dysfunctionally)

 

 

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