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[Guardian Online] , Ford, Matthew Old habits die hard for ageing addicts (UK). (27 Jan 2011)

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Although an early death is a reality for many addicts, methadone prescriptions and the success of harm-reduction programmes now mean that large numbers of people who began using drugs in the 1960s and 1970s are living longer. Figures from the National Treatment Agency for Substance Misuse show that there were more than 1,300 addicts over the age of 60 in treatment in England in 2009. In 1998, just 8% of drug users were aged 40-49, but by 2006, a quarter were in this age bracket. Caryl Beynon, reader in substance use epidemiology at the centre for public health, Liverpool John Moores University, calculates that there are now around 70,000-75,000 addicts aged over 40 in the UK.


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