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Elderly Populations, Treatment Issues

The evaluation and treatment of substance-related problems vary by life phase. As such, understanding the special needs of elders with regard to substance use issues has increased significantly in recent times. In 1900, people 65 years of age and older constituted 4% of the U.S. population, whereas today they are approximately 13%. By the year 2010, baby boomers (e.g., the exceptionally large birth cohort born from 1946 and 1964) will start to turn 65, magnifying this aging trend. By 2045, the number of elderly persons will likely exceed the number of children (15 or younger) for the first time in history. Despite this marked shift in demographics, research on elder substance use treatment has not increased at the same rate. This causes concern because of ...

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