Seniors Seal With ‘Silent’ Substance Abuse

New research shows increasing numbers of seniors and the elderly are far from sober. It’s called a ‘silent addiction.’

By the year 2020, The National Institute on Drug Abuse says the number of seniors with alcohol or other drug problems to leap 150 percent. And the issue goes unnoticed.

“We become more isolated to those public sectors that would identify us,” said Edward Harper, coordinator for senior services at Blount Memorial Hospital.

Research shows while some users are continuing a lifelong habit, others are late-onset abusers, where generational differences, even physical changes related to aging, play a role.