Alcohol, Tobacco, and Nonmedical Drug Use in Older U.S. Adults: Data from the 2001/02 National Epidemiologic Survey of Alcohol and Related Conditions.
Moore, Alison A. MD, MPH *+; Karno, Mitchell P. PhD +; Grella, Christine E. PhD +; Lin, James C. MBA, MD ++; Warda, Umme MS *; Liao, Diana H. MS *; Hu, Peifeng PhD, MD *
Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.
57(12):2275-2281, December 2009.
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OBJECTIVES: To examine the prevalence and sociodemographic and health-related correlates of substance use, including alcohol, tobacco, and nonmedical drug use, in adults aged 65 and older.
DESIGN: Cross-sectional, retrospective survey of a population-based sample, the 2001/02 National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions.
SETTING: United States.
PARTICIPANTS: Eight thousand two hundred five U.S. adults aged 65 and older.
MEASUREMENTS: Prevalence of lifetime and previous-12-month alcohol, tobacco, and nonmedical drug use and associations between substance use and sociodemographic and health-related factors.
RESULTS: Almost 80% of older adults had used any of the three substances over their lifetimes, and more than 50% reported such use over the previous 12 months. Alcohol was the most commonly used substance over the lifetime (74%) and in the previous 12 months (45%), followed by tobacco (52% lifetime; 14% previous 12 months); far fewer reported nonmedical use of drugs (5% lifetime; 1% previous 12 months). In general, being younger, male, and divorced or separated were factors consistently associated with use of any of the three substances.
CONCLUSION: Most older adults had used substances over their lifetimes and in the previous 12 months. Alcohol is the substance of choice for this age group, followed by tobacco; few report nonmedical drug use.
(C) 2009 by the American Geriatrics Society