Key Points

Illicit substance use among adults 65 and over is rapidly rising, and there will be a significant lack of resources to address this growing public health problem.  An estimated 4.8 million older adults are living with a substance use disorder and this number is projected to double by 2020. The health consequences of illicit substance use disorder can significantly impair or exacerbate co-morbid health conditions in older adults.  There are significant psychological, social, economic and family stressors that result when an older adult misuses illicit substances. 

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Illicit Substance Use Disorder Among Older Adults Handout