A Rising Tide of Substance Abuse – NYTimes.com


The elderly rarely use alcohol or drugs to “get high”; drug or alcohol use that begins after age 60 appears fundamentally different. Typically, those who start use as teenagers or young adults tend to be sensation-seekers with significant rates of psychiatric disorders and antisocial traits. In contrast, the elderly turn to alcohol and drugs to alleviate the physical and psychological pain from the onslaught of medical and psychiatric illness, the loss of loved ones or social isolation.


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