Specht, S., Braun-Michl, B., Schwarzkopf, L., Piontek, D., Seitz, N.-N., Wildner, M., Kraus, L.

Substance use disorder and the baby boom generation: Does Berlin outpatient addiction care face a sustained change?

2021

Drug and Alcohol Review. doi: 10.1111/dar.13245

Zum Volltext (kostenfrei): onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/dar.13245

Introduction The ageing of baby boomers is expected to confront addiction care with new challenges. This cohort had greater exposure to psychoactive substances in youth than earlier cohorts. In this study, we aimed to investigate whether Berlin addiction care is confronted with a sustained change in its clientele initiated by the baby boomers.

Methods Using data from Berlin outpatient addiction care facilities, we contrasted type of primary substance use disorder and number of comorbid substance use disorders in baby boomers with an earlier and a later cohort. To isolate cohort effects, two?level random intercept regression models were applied in the overlapping age groups of the baby boomer cohort with each of the other cohorts.

Results Compared with the earlier cohort, alcohol use disorder lost importance whereas illicit substance use disorder gained importance in the baby boomers. Baby boomers presented a higher number of comorbid substance use disorders than the earlier cohort. Comparing baby boomers with the later cohort, these relationships pointed in the opposite direction.

Discussion and Conclusions Outpatient addiction care faces a sustained change to more illicit and comorbid substance use disorders. With increasing life expectancy and the ageing of baby boomers marked by higher substance use than previous cohorts, older clients, who had been under-represented in outpatient addiction care, will gain relevance. Hence, addiction care has to adapt its offers to appropriately meet the changing needs of its clientele.

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