The number of older Americans who are seeking treatment for substance abuse is growing. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration reports that treatment admissions doubled in adults age 50 and over between 1992 and 2008, according to The Associated Press.
Experts predict this trend will continue as baby boomers who developed substance abuse problems 30 or 40 years ago continue to age. Older adults are more likely to abuse alcohol than illicit drugs, the article states. According to the AP, treatment professionals say there are many older adults with substance abuse issues who are not seeking treatment.
There are few treatment programs specifically designed for older adults. The article notes that seniors in mixed age groups may have a hard time relating to younger participants and may end up mentoring younger participants instead of focusing on their own issues.