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Aging & Disability Spotlight Topics

Substance Use Is a Critical Health and Mental Health Issue for Older Adults

By Madeline A. Naegle and Benjamin H. Han

Older adults diagnosed and treated for substance use disorders are a small but growing proportion of persons in need of treatment. The stigma tied to these diagnoses across cultures, however, often takes precedent over an understanding of the health implications of substance use. In a framework of “Healthy Aging” and enhanced quality of life, substance use has associated health risks across the lifespan, with alcohol contributing to 5.1 percent of the global burden of disease and injury (World Health Organization, 2021). And smoking remains the second leading risk factor for early death and disability (Forouzanfar et al., 2016).

 

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Resource: Naegle, N. A., & Han, B. H. (Winter 2020-21). Substance Use Is a Critical Health and Mental Health Issue for Older Adults. Generations Journal. Retrieved from https://generations.asaging.org/substance-use-critical-health-issue-elders

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