Substance Abuse Elderly

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Substance Abuse and the Elderly Shayla Henderson-Young, B.S.N., RN, CCMC, MAJ ANC Uniformed Services University, Bethesda, MD Epidemiology The increasing prevalence of substance abuse amongst the older adult (geriatric) population is cause for concern (Wu & Blazer, 2011). There are over 700 million adults ages 60 and above worldwide (Wang et al., 2013). According to (Ortman, Velkoff, & Hogan (2014), in 2012 there were approximately 43.1 million adults over the age of 65 and estimated to double 83.7 million by 2050. The shift in demographics is largely due to the progressive decline in procreation while life expectancy has increased. Advancements in health care have increased the life expectancy, of the aging baby boomer generation. The…show more content…
Psychoactive drug misuse is not done for the purposes of euphoric or sedative obtainment as seen with the younger population, but due to cognitive deficiencies. While illicit drugs usage is low in amongst this group, it is steadily growing (Wang et al. 2013). There has been in rise in geriatric emergency room visits due to substance misuse (Wang et al. 2013). This rise prompted the National Institute of Health to bring awareness to substance use disorders. However, limited information still remains. Additional research is needed attesting to the most efficaciously approach to treating elderly with SUD (Wang et al.…show more content…
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