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NIH older-adult resource focuses on drug abuse

June 9, 2012
by Gary Enos
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 The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has added the topic of substance abuse among older adults to its list of online resources to educate older Americans.

Prescription and Illicit Drug Abuse is the latest topic to be added to the NIHSeniorHealth.gov website, a joint effort of the National Institute on Aging and the National Library of Medicine. A statement issued June 6 by NIH cited data reporting that from 2002 to 2008, the prevalence of past-month abuse of illegal drugs (including non-medical use of prescription medication) increased from 2.7 % to 5.8% of the population ages 50 to 59.

NIH’s National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) projects that the aging of a baby boom generation that was more prone to drug use in its youth than its predecessors could mean a continued increase in the prevalence of substance abuse in older populations.

NIDA Director Nora Volkow, MD, said in regard to the newly posted information from NIH, “This topic is an excellent, easy-to-understand overview of a growing problem. It’s a must-read for anyone concerned about substance abuse in themselves, an older relative or friend.”       

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