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Dramatic Rise in Proportion of Older Americans Admitted for Substance Abuse Treatment

A new SAMHSA study reveals that between 1992 and 2008 the proportion of substance abuse treatment admissions involving older Americans (aged 50 and older) nearly doubled — from 6.6 percent of all admissions in 1992 to 12.2 percent in 2008. The study also shows a sharp rise during this period in the proportion of older Americans admissions related to illicit drug abuse — even though alcohol abuse is still the leading cause for admissions involving this age group.

Among its more notable findings the SAMHSA study reveals that from 1992 to 2008 the proportion of admissions among this age group are due primarily to:

  • Heroin abuse more than doubled — from 7.2 to 16.0 percent.
  • Cocaine abuse quadrupled — from 2.9 to 11.4 percent.
  • Prescription drug abuse rose from 0.7 to 3.5 percent.
  • Marijuana abuse increased from 0.6 to 2.9 percent.

At the same time admissions primarily related to alcohol abuse decreased from 84.6 percent in 1992 to 59.9 percent in 2008.

The proportion of older American treatment admissions involving multiple substance disorders has nearly tripled from 13.7 percent in 1992 to 39.7 percent in 2008. For example, the proportion of admissions involving any alcohol abuse in combination with any cocaine abuse more than tripled — from 5.3 percent in 1992 to 16.2 percent in 2008.

While the study showed that over three quarters of all older American treatment admissions initiated use of their primary substance by the age of 25, an increasing proportion of admissions involved substances that had only been initiated within five years prior to admission. In 2008, cocaine abuse was the leading primary cause of admissions involving substances initiated in the past five years (26.2 percent) among older Americans, with prescription drug misuse a close second (25.8 percent).


Source: SAMHSA, June 16, 2010

The Next Generation of Health Coaching: Multi-Platform Models for Sustained Behavior Change

To optimize program success and ROI, health coaching will need to be powered by multi-channel outreach — land lines, Web, e-mail, cell phones and even PDAs — and reinforced by tightly interwoven communication and incentive programs. In this 43-page special report, health coaching veterans set the stage for Health Coaching 3.0 and describe the skills, technology and training that will be required to equip health coaches for this eventuality.

The Next Generation of Health Coaching: Multi-Platform Models for Sustained Behavior Change is available from the Healthcare Intelligence Network for $115 by visiting our Online Bookstore or by calling toll-free (888) 446-3530.

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IMPORTANT NOTICE: This information is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information on the business of healthcare. It is distributed with the understanding that Healthcare Intelligence Network is not engaged in rendering legal advice. If legal advice is required, the services of a competent professional should be retained.

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