Home > Substance use disorder in older adults: mini review.

Jaqua, Ecler Ercole and Nguyen, Van and Scherlie, Nicole and Dreschler, Joshua and Labib, Wessam (2022) Substance use disorder in older adults: mini review. Addiction & Health, 14, (1), pp. 62-67. doi: 10.22122/ahj.v14i1.1311.

External website: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC90576...

With an estimated prevalence of 4%, substance abuse amongst persons who are 65 years and older is increasing. The most common substances abused are alcohol, prescription drugs such as opiates and benzodiazepines (BZD), and over-the-counter (OTC) medications. This increase is believed to be partially endorsed by the baby boomer generation, born between 1946 to 1964, who had significant exposure to alcohol and drugs at a younger age. Substance abuse is difficult to recognize in the older adults, but once identified, presents its own challenges as only 18% of substance abuse treatment programs are designed for this growing population. Substance abuse overall may increase the risk of fractures secondary to recurrent falls, memory loss, sleep disturbances, anxiety, and depression. In this article, we will review the signs and symptoms, risk factors, screening tools, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) diagnostic criteria, and challenges of treating substance abuse in the older adults.

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