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Alcohol and drug abuse remains to be a serious health issue among 17 percent of adults aged 60 or older. This assessment was conducted in order to determine and fully understand the needs, resources, and readiness necessary to address the issue of substance abuse throughout the state of Maine. It involved a four-part study focused in the Hancock County region. Twelve focus groups were held with the target groups being professionals, caregivers, and older adults. Surveys and interviews were distributed statewide to evaluate substance abuse. Secondary data analysis was included as well in order to analyze arrests, hospital admissions, treatment, payment sources, and comparisons of geographical location and age. Through all aspects of this study, it was concluded that there is very limited treatment and prevention options for substance abuse in Maine. The issue of community denial is a barrier to addressing and treating substance abuse in older adults. Thus, it is crucial to debunk myths, educate the communities, and provide support in order to effectively assist the elderly population in Maine.
University of Maine Center on Aging, Bucksport Bay Healthy Communities, Coastal Hancock Healthy Communities, Healthy Peninsula Project, and Healthy Acadia Coalition, "Hancock County and Statewide Needs, Resources, and Readiness Assessment on Older Adult Alcohol Abuse" (2006). Maine Center on Aging Research and Evaluation. 21.
pre-print (i.e. pre-refereeing)