Action is needed to deal with growing levels of substance misuse in people aged over 50, claims BMJ editorial
Researchers in the UK and Australia said the number of people aged over 50 who were experiencing problems from substance misuse was growing rapidly and the numbers receiving treatment were expected to treble in the US and double in Europe by 2020.
In both the UK and Australia, dangerous levels of drinking are declining, except among people aged 50 years and older, they said. One of the authors warns that the issue goes beyond drinking, citing illicit drugs such as cannabis, and commonly prescribed medications such as opioid painkillers as also being an issue.
Full editorial: Rao, R. & Roche, A. Substance misuse in older people: Baby boomers are the population at highest risk BMJ 2017;358:j3885
Related : Baby boomers’ drink and drug misuse needs urgent action, warn experts | The Guardian