Significant Number of Older Adults in Treatment
The population of adults over the age of 50 in treatment facilities is growing, according to a study by New York University. Researchers on the study used data from New York State’s Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS). This organization provides national information on treatment population, including characteristics like demographic, self -reported substance abuse and self-reported physical abuse.
In 1996, adults over the age of 50 accounted for 7.8 percent of the treatment population. In 2012, they accounted for 35.9 percent. During this time period overall treatment population also dropped 7.6 percent, which makes those percentages even more significant. Furthermore, those under 40 years old accounted for 56.2 percent of patients in 1996 and 20.5 percent in 2012. The demographic of these populations also changed over time, with increasing white patients and decreasing black patients.
The researchers predict that the number of older adults in treatment will continue to rise, especially over the next decade. These adults have specific needs and should be treated from a geriatric perspective.