US Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, & Pensions: Support the Positive Aging Act of 2011
-Substance abuse among the elderly has often been ignored and overlooked. However the reality is that substance abuse is a growing problem for the older adult community. 17% of older adults abuse drugs and alcohol.
-In 2000, there were 1.7 million older adults who suffered from substance abuse. There are many factors that might put older adults at risk for substance abuse such as lack of mental health programs aimed at older adults.
-The Positive Aging Act of 2011 is important because it would:
• Provide vital mental health services to older adults. It would do this by combining mental health services and primary health care facilities to make mental health care more accessible and less stigmatized. It would also combine mental health services with other community spaces where older adults receive other services, such as senior centers.
• Create programs that are intended to conduct outreach to the older adult communities.
• Target its efforts at helping older adults with substance abuse as well as conducting national research on this pressing matter.