The number of adults 50 or older admitted to substance-abuse treatment facilities has more than doubled, from 102,700 in 1992 to 231,170 in 2008, says a Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration compilation reported by USA Today. The report notes demographic shifts that suggest these patients are less economically stable.
Patients reporting having no principal source of income increased from 11 percent in 1992 to 28.8 percent in 2008. These older substance-abuse patients may also be dealing with loneliness. Peter Delany, an expert in substance abuse and director of the substance abuse organization’s Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality, says many of the shifts reflect overall national demographic changes.