Admissions for Drug Treatment Up for Older Adults - "Do the Right Dose" Campaign Launched

Admissions for substance abuse treatment increased by 32 percent among older adults over the eight-year period 1995-2002, concludes a new study released today by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The report, “Older Adults in Substance Abuse Treatment: Update,” found that the percent of older adults with opiates as their primary substance of abuse increased from 6.8 percent to 12 percent in this time period. Opiates include prescription pain medications and heroin. Opiates are the second most frequent reason for treatment admissions among older adults, after alcohol. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) collaborated with SAMHSA to develop public education materials addressing the issues. The goal is to send a clear message to older adults that emphasizes the need to take pain relievers as directed. The “Do the Right Dose” campaign includes two print ads, one television public service announcement, two radio public service announcements, two posters, and an update of SAMHSA’s brochure “As You Age.”