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Does Age Matter in Addiction Treatment Success?

Analysis of more than 57,000 provides answer

Individuals aged 65 to 69 were more likely to successfully complete substance abuse treatment than their younger counterparts in a retrospective analysis of more than 57,000 individuals.

Participants, who ranged in age from 30 to 96, had all undergone substance abuse treatment. Investigators explored differences in age group in the 65 and older contingent, as well as variances between those 65 and older and those younger than 65. They analyzed treatment completion, program length of stay, primary problem substance, referral source, and demographic characteristics.

Among the results:

• Those 65 to 69 were more likely to complete treatment successfully than those aged 75 and older.

• Those 75 and older had more substance use-related hospitalizations.

• When excluding those 75 and older (n=7,596), older age was linked with greater successful treatment completion.

Citation: Sahker E, Schultz S, Arndr S. Treatment of substance use disorders in older adults: Implications for care delivery. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2015;63(11):2317-2323.