Illicit Drug Use Among Those in Their 50's Nearly Doubles in Past Five Years

Center for Chemical Addictions Treatment highlights its OASIS (Older Adults Seeking Indepedence in Sobriety) treatment program tailored specifically for Adults 50+ seeking drug and/or alcohol treatment.

Cincinnati, OH, September 30, 2009 --( According to a recent report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), illicit drug use among Baby Boomers has increased dramatically in the past five years. The report, An Examination of Trends in Illicit Drug Use among Adults Aged 50 to 59 in the United States reveals that “the rate of current illicit drug use increased from 2.7 percent in 2002 to 5.0 percent in 2007.” The report goes on to say “The number of adults aged 50 or older with past year substance use disorder (SUD) is projected to more than double from 2.8 million (annual average) in 2002 to 2006 to 5.7 million in 2020 in the United States.”

Further, the report points out that in the future the United States will face an even larger challenge in addressing the myriad of problems caused by illicit drug use including negative social effects on the user’s community, increased health problems and “substantial excess mortality” which in turn, increase costs to our society. “The increase in illicit drug use among persons aged 50 to 59 and their potential future treatment needs has become a growing public health concern.”

The Center for Chemical Addictions Treatment (CCAT), a leading addictions treatment facility that will celebrate its 40th Anniversary next year, offers a unique drug and alcohol treatment program for Adults 50+ aptly named OASIS (Older Adults Seeking Independence in Sobriety). According to CCAT’s CEO Sandra L. Kuehn, “Our OASIS program indeed provides a safe haven for those older adults in our community who are seeking recovery and need a specialized kind of support to achieve it. Adults in the 50+ age group often have a host of issues to deal with when they come through our doors. Maybe they’ve recently lost a spouse or even a parent and experience a profound sense of loss and sadness that can sometimes lead to drug abuse. As people age, they commonly have an onset of medical problems which can reduce mobility and cause feelings of depression and isolation. Medical problems can also translate into an increased use (or abuse) of prescription medications which can lead to even more adverse reactions.”

CCAT’s OASIS program is an abstinence-based, intensive outpatient treatment program that addresses the roots of addiction commonly affecting the 50+ age group. OASIS provides individual assessment and counseling sessions with staff trained to address issues in both chemical dependency and gerontology. The OASIS program recognizes that addiction is a disease affecting the whole family. Consequently, the program even includes a family education component which helps families learn to understand the disease concept so they too can heal and help to support their loved one in recovery. Program Coordinator and Addictions Counselor Sheretha Page affirms OASIS serves a special need in the community. “Because the older population is one of the most underserved and misdiagnosed, OASIS bridges the gap between social isolation due to untreated substance abuse and a healthier quality of life.” Clients also have access to CCAT’s other services including medically-monitored detoxification, a 28-day short term residential treatment program and an outpatient Suboxone opiate addiction treatment service.

Center for Chemical Addictions Treatment
Nancy Buck