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Why haven't I heard about older people and substance abuse?

Bonnie Lynn Wright, PhD
Geriatrics Nursing

Probably for the same reasons you haven't heard about older people and (fill in the blank)!! It isn't that substance abuse doesn't occur. It's because it isn't newsworthy, considered important or something with which anyone cares to deal, maybe including the older person him or herself. 

People are concerned about substance abuse when it robs a person of their future, their health, their family or when it results in crimes. Older people are on the downside of having a future, their health is likely not robust and their family is either accepting of them as they are, moved on or died off. They probably have little opportunity or capability of committing crimes. 

The same applies to many other problems that exist in the elderly. As long as society sees them as close to the end of their lives and therefore not worth the effort to change their condition, we will continue to hear less of their adversities.

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