JSIT19-02: Substance Use Disorder Treatment and Completion among Older Populations


  • Jevay Grooms, PhD


Given the destruction caused by the current opioid epidemic, considerable focus has been channeled into finding ways to explain and mitigate its effect. However, research that explores the role of substance use treatment among older individuals is scarce. Moreover, recent work has denoted the stark racial/ethnic composition of the prescription opioid epidemic (Case and Deaton, 2015; Hansen and Netherland, 2016; Grooms and Ortega, 2019). This paper aims to look beyond the current epidemic by offering a historical investigation of admissions and discharges for treatment episodes from 1992 until 2017 across race, ethnicity, and age. Our results suggest that although older individuals are not typically associated with risky behavior, they are increasingly seeking treatment for substance use disorders. We find that substance use treatment admissions for people aged 50 and older have persistently
increased over our sample period. Our findings also indicate that, on average, Black admissions across all ages are less likely to complete treatment and more likely to have their treatment terminated by a treatment facility (relative to Whites). Some evidence indicates that Hispanic individuals are less likely to complete treatment and that Hispanic admissions over 50 years old are more likely to have their treatment terminated (relative to Whites).


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JSIT19-02: Substance Use Disorders and Disability: What role does race, ethnicity and gender play in having access to treatment.

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