May 10, 2013

Drug Abuse Rates Soar in the Baby Boomer Population

Prescription DrugsIf you are between the ages of 50-54, you have probably seen the number of your friends and acquaintances using illicit drugs double in the last few years. If you are ages 55-59, you have seen them triple. The problem used to be mostly alcohol, but prescription drug abuse is a greater and ever growing problem.

Juan Harris, the clinical director of the boomer and older adult programs at the Hanley Center said boomers grew up during a time when drug use was a big part of the culture.

“I still find some are romanticizing about the music and the old days, and quite a few of them are still smoking pot,’’ said Harris.

Marijuana, however, is much stronger today than when boomers came of age, as it’s now being grown hydroponically. In addition, synthetic marijuana, also know as “K2” and “Spice,” is made of chemical-engineered compounds, which makes it more potent.

Why are more boomers turning abusing drugs? Anxiety over:

  • The poor economy
  • Forced early retirement
  • Ineligibility for Social Security

“This is just a pill-popping society, and people in my age range, 50 and up, are handed a pill rather than a solution,” a 56 year old woman “Brittney”  said after describing her bout with prescription drugs and the health care system. “Doctors need to be educated so that they can understand what kind of struggles they’re perpetrating.”

 

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