Treatment and care for older drug users


'Drug problems have no age limits' -- This special review published alongside the 2010 Annual report, reveals why drug use is no longer simply a ‘youth phenomenon’. Europe is experiencing a pronounced ageing of its population, around a quarter of which will be aged 65 or over by 2050. Statistics published today show that Europe’s drug-using population is also ageing and that meeting the needs of older drug users is a growing issue for treatment services. This is particularly the case in western countries which saw the EU’s first heroin epidemics in the 1980s and 1990s.

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Table of contents

  • Introduction
  • Setting the scene: ageing and drug use in Europe
  • Ageing and problem drug use
  • Drug use, health and social characteristics of older problem drug users in Europe
  • Responses to older problem drug users: policies, treatment and care
  • Overall findings