Key Points

Illicit substance use among adults 65 and over is rapidly rising, and there will be a significant lack of resources to address this growing public health problem.  An estimated 4.8 million older adults are living with a substance use disorder and this number is projected to double by 2020. The health consequences of illicit substance use disorder can significantly impair or exacerbate co-morbid health conditions in older adults.  There are significant psychological, social, economic and family stressors that result when an older adult misuses illicit substances. 


Illicit Substance Use Disorder Among Older Adults Handout