The 130th Annual Meeting of APHA

4090.0: Tuesday, November 12, 2002 - Board 10

Abstract #41480

Substance abuse treatment need among older adults in 2020: The impact of the aging baby boom cohort

Joseph Gfroerer, PhD, Office of Applied Studies, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 5600 Fisher's Lane, Room 16-105, Rockville, MD 20857, Michael Penne, MPH, Statistics Research Division, Research Triangle Institute, P.O. Box 12194, 3040 Cornwallis Road, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709-2194, and Michael Pemberton, PhD, Center for Interdisciplinary Substance Abuse Research, Research Triangle Institute, 622-1/2 Dauphine St., New Orleans, LA 70112, 504-596-6957,

Due to the relatively high rates of substance use among the baby boom cohort, as well as its large size, the number of older adults in need of substance abuse treatment will likely increase as the baby boom cohort ages. The purpose of this study was to estimate the number of older adults (aged 50 or older) in the United States who will be in need of alcohol or illicit drug treatment in the year 2020, using data from the 2000 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse (NHSDA). To develop these projections, we first used regression models to obtain parameters that characterized the relationship between a set of independent variables (age, gender, race/ethnicity, past use of cigarettes, alcohol, and marijuana) and treatment need among older adults in the 2000 NHSDA. Older adults were categorized as needing treatment if they met the DSM-IV criteria for substance abuse or dependence. We then applied these parameters to the projected population of older adults in 2020. The results indicate that the number of older adults in need of substance abuse treatment will approximately double in twenty years, from 1.6 million in 2000 to 3.0 million in 2020. This is the result of a 52% increase in the size of the older adult population (from 77.0 million to 112.5 million) combined with a 23% increase in their rate of treatment need (from 2.2% to 2.7%). Increases are projected for all gender, race, and age groups among older adults. Conclusions and data limitations are discussed.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the session, the participant (learner) will

Keywords: Aging, Substance Abuse Treatment

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Improving Treatment Services to At-Risk Populations Poster Session

The 130th Annual Meeting of APHA