Care homes called to act on substance misuse ‘ageism’

Substance misuse ‘ageism’ is failing people taking opioid/opiates, a new report has found.

It calls for care home staff to receive training in substance misuse, so that older people might receive the help they need.

The report finds that upper age cut-offs in substance use services, a lack of specialist staff, and a failure to refer older adults for treatment are among the factors driving substance misuse in older people. High-risk drug users aged over 40 may soon become the largest drug treatment population in Europe, it warns, adding that the complex and varied needs of older opiate/opioid users will increasingly become a mainstream treatment activity.

The report concludes: “Many substance misuse services in the UK do not adequately cater to the needs of this cohort and services will need to adapt to fit to this permitting trend.”

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