Substance abuse issues among the elderly represent a growing public health concern. Researchers say that close to three million Americans aged 55 and older suffer from alcohol abuse — and this figure is expected to reach nearly six million by 2020.

Moreover, the rate of illicit drug abuse in adults over 50 more has more than doubled between 2002 and 2013.

Many of the older Americans suffering from substance abuse are retired. But new research suggests it is not retirement alone that leads to drug and alcohol abuse.

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