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The Senior Shift

An estimated 1.7 million Medicare beneficiaries have a substance use disorder (SUD). Of these beneficiaries—8% of Medicare beneficiaries under 65 years of age and 2% over 65. But eleven percent of these beneficiaries have received treatment. At the same time, the overdose among people 65 years and older quadrupled from 3.0 per 100,000 population (1,060 deaths) in 2002 to 12.0 per 100 000 (6,702 deaths) in 2021, with highest rates among non-Hispanic African American individuals. These are the findings of two recent studies, …

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