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The number of older Michiganders in substance abuse treatment doubles in a decade

 The number of adults over 50 entering into substance abuse treatment nearly doubled in Michigan during the past decade, according to a new state health department study.

 The Department of Community Health compared data on substance abuse treatment admissions from 2000 and 2009. 

Alcohol was and is the main reason most older adults ended up in treatment Michigan.

A decade ago, alcohol was the reason 85% of older Michiganders ended up in substance abuse treatment.  But by 2009,  that percentage dropped to 59%.

Health department spokesman James Mc Curtis says prescription drugs have become a bigger problem.  

"(Prescription drugs) have gained a lot of popularity and a lot of traction as the years continue to progress," says McCurtis. 

Unemployment is another problem. 

In 2000, half the older people in Michigan substance abuse programs were unemployed.  By 2009…65 percent were without even a part time a job.

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