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Many older Americans dealing with substance abuse problems

Posted On Wed, April 25, 2012

The Hanley Center and the Caron Treatment Centers released a joint report which showed a large portion of older Americans are having trouble with substance abuse.

The survey noted that many Americans over the age of 48 have these issues, and many cite depression and anxiety as the main reasons for abuse. Other reasons for such abuse were financial stress and retirement. Close to 80 percent of this group noted that they began drinking alcohol or using drugs before they turned 25. In addition, 40 percent of those polled said that they still deal with such issues.

"Older adults face a distinct set of challenges as they enter their golden years," said Dr. Barbara Krantz, medical director of Hanley Center. "This transitional period of life is unique and leads to difficulty in dealing with stressful situations, such as an early retirement or financial strains, which in turn may lead to serious anxiety and depression. Without the proper tools to manage their emotions, older adults turn to quick fixes such as alcohol and drugs, creating the perfect storm for dependency."

More than 90 percent of those surveyed said that they abused alcohol recently, while nearly half have a history of prescription drug abuse issues, the report added. However, four in 10 of those polled noted that they were encouraged by family members to find a treatment avenue.

American adults who are looking for substance abuse help may benefit from looking for advice through their doctor. However, if they don't have a health insurance plan, they may benefit from finding an inexpensive policy. Looking for health insurance quotes online may help, as there could be a significant number of plans with low health insurance rates.

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