Data from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s most recent Treatment Episode Data Set indicate that the number of older adults admitted to a facility for substance abuse treatment has nearly doubled since 1992. The findings show that the number of patients aged 50 or older admitted to substance abuse treatment facilities increased from approximately 102,700 in 1992 to 231,170 in 2008. The study breaks down findings by types of drug used and reports increases in heroin, cocaine, and multiple substance usage. However, the study also found a decrease in alcohol abuse for this population.
SAMHSA has issued a press release summarizing the results of the analysis from the Treatment Episode Data Set. The full data set is also available online, along with a report on the trends in substance abuse among older Americans.