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Senior Substance Abuse



The latest figures show that as the senior population rises, so is drug abuse among seniors.

Census data shows nearly 35 million people in the United States are 65 or older.

Substance abuse currently affects about 17 percent of the senior population and by 2020, that figure is expected to double.

Scott Watson of Heartland Intervention says alcohol and prescription drug abuse are the most prominent form of drug abuse in seniors.

Watson says as people age, their priorities and stressors change.

He says alcohol and drugs are often ways that older people attempt to cope with life challenges.