Substance Abuse Higher in Elderly


Baby boomers and seniors have been exposed to more drugs, and often do not considered prescription drugs addictive:

"The youngest batch of older adults, baby boomers, have had more exposure to drugs and alcohol than their elders, making them more susceptible to substance abuse problems.

Seniors are also more apt to look for a pill to treat an ache and might not consider that a prescribed drug could be addictive.

That's according to experts who note that rising drug and alcohol abuse among those 55 and older poses new challenges for people in the treatment, medical and social service fields.

More than 30 people from these fields from Berks, Chester, Lancaster and Lebanon counties attended a workshop Thursday on substance abuse and aging at the Sovereign Bank building in Reading.

The Council on Chemical Abuse came up with the workshop after noticing a 5 percent increase locally in older adults seeking treatment for drug and alcohol addiction, said Marcia Goodman-Hinnershitz, the council's director of planning and resource development."

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