NHS hospitals treat soaring number of older people for drug misuse

NHS hospitals treat soaring number of older people for drug misuse - MTG UK

NHS hospitals treat soaring number of older people for drug misuse

NHS hospitals treat soaring number of older people for drug misuse.

NHS hospitals treat soaring number of older people for drug misuse - MTG UK

NHS hospitals treat soaring number of older people for drug misuse

Number of over-45s in England admitted with drug-related mental problems rose 85% over decade

Growing numbers of middle-aged and older people are ending up in hospital suffering serious mental health problems after taking drugs, new NHS statistics reveal.

The number of people in England aged 45 and above admitted with a drug-related mental and behavioural disorder has soared 85% over the last decade.

They have been treated after displaying symptoms such as hallucinations, confusion, extreme agitation and disinhibition.

Similarly, there has also been an increase of 32% in admissions for poisoning as a result of drug misuse in those aged 55 and above over the last six years.

The figures from NHS Digital have prompted experts to claim that controversial changes in the government’s approach to drug addiction, and fewer specialist treatment services, have led to the rise in admissions.

“It is clear from this data that older people are suffering the consequences of cuts made to drug treatment services over recent years,” said Ian Hamilton, associate professor of addiction at the University of York.

Data published last month by Public Health England also showed big increases in recent years in over-50s receiving help with addiction problems.

For example, the numbers in that age group who presented with a drug-related health condition more than trebled from 5,679 in 2005/06 to 19,529 in 2017/18 – a rise of 243%.

Similarly, the number of them who then started residential drug treatment rose over the same period from 1,797 to 4,455 – an increase of 148%.

Lucy Schonegevel, head of health influencing at Rethink Mental Illness, said the NHS Digital data provided “yet another piece of evidence in an ever-growing list showing the pressure that NHS services are facing in treating people with mental ill health. In these situations we can only be blunt: the numbers are travelling in the wrong direction and time is running out to do the right thing.”

Hamilton called for greater availability of naloxone, an antidote which stops people who have taken a heroin overdose from dying, and the creation of “safe injection facilities” where users can inject drugs safely.

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NHS hospitals treat soaring number of older people for drug misuse

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