Navigation Links
Baby Boomers Still Doing Drugs as Seniors
Date:1/8/2010

Need for substance abuse treatment could double by 2020, report shows

FRIDAY, Jan. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Almost 5 percent of aging Baby Boomers in the United States are abusing drugs, a new government report shows.

That's about 4.3 million adults over the age of 50 who are smoking marijuana, abusing prescription medication and engaging in other illicit drug activity -- a number that far exceeds that of their parents' generation.

"This is becoming more and more apparent in practice," said Dr. Ihsan M. Salloum, chief of the Division of Alcohol and Drug Abuse: Treatment and Research at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. "You have both prescription drugs being used that people can become addicted to and also people who have had a pattern of use from before."

The driving force behind the trend, said Peter Delany, director of the Office of Applied Studies at the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), is people who used drugs when they were younger and never really stopped.

This is, after all, the era of the Rolling Stones as senior citizens.

The projected increase in the number of older drug abusers is expected to double the demand for treatment services by 2020, the report stated.

The report, based on data collected during 2006-08 from almost 20,000 U.S. adults born between 1946 and 1964, found that more men are smoking marijuana than are abusing prescription drugs (4.2 percent vs. 2.3 percent). About the same proportion of women engage in both behaviors (hovering near 2 percent).

Many more men aged 50 to 54 acknowledged using marijuana in the previous year than women (8.5 percent vs. 3.9 percent).

Pot smoking was more prevalent among the younger end of the spectrum (those aged 50 to 59), while prescription drug abuse was more common in the older age bracket (aged 65 and up).

Less than 1 percent of older adults said they had used drugs other than pot or prescription-like medications, including 0.5 percent for cocaine, 0.1 percent for hallucinogens and 0.1 percent for heroin.

In the period 2002-06, the annual average number of people over the age of 50 using illicit drugs was 2.8 million.

Although "harder" drugs such as crystal meth and cocaine aren't the main offenders in this demographic, drug use among older, generally more frail, individuals does bring special concerns.

"This population tends to have other health problems, especially chronic health problems," Delany explained. "And as we age we don't metabolize drugs the same way."

Also, older people with a substance-abuse diagnosis are much more at risk of suicide, said Dr. David Schlager, clinical assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral science at Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine and a psychiatrist with Lone Star Circle of Care, which has health clinics throughout Texas.

Finding appropriate treatments for this group adds more potential complications.

"We don't really have data and research for the most effective treatments for older individuals," said Jeffrey Parsons, chair of psychology at Hunter College in New York City. "Are existing programs effective or do we need to start from scratch?"

And the two different groups of older drug users -- those with new addictions and those with long-term issues -- may need different treatments, he added.

Not to mention the inherent limitations in drug abuse treatment and services as they currently stand. "The treatment is not terrible advanced," Schlager noted.

On the other hand, Schlager said, Baby Boomers may be in a better position both to access what services there are and to pay for them.

More information

Visit the U.S. Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration for more on this problem.



SOURCES: Jeffrey T. Parsons, Ph.D., professor and chair, psychology, Hunter College, New York City; Ihsan M. Salloum, M.D., professor, psychiatry and behavioral sciences, and chief, Division of Alcohol and Drug Abuse: Treatment and Research, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine; David Schlager, M.D., clinical assistant professor, psychiatry and behavioral science, Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine, and psychiatrist, Lone Star Circle of Care; Peter J. Delany, Ph.D., director, Office of Applied Studies, Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Aging Expert's New Book Helps Boomers Address Challenges of Caregiving
2. Baby Boomers May Prove More Disabled Than Their Elders
3. Exercise Tips to Keep Boomers on Their Feet
4. Boomers: Tips on How to Exercise Safely
5. Thomson Reuters Study Finds Baby Boomers and Generation X Face Healthcare Cost Hurdles
6. Online Store Offers Affordable Digital Hearing Aids For Baby Boomers
7. Boomers Embrace Brain Fitness Craze
8. PRELEX is the Answer for Baby Boomers Vision Needs
9. Aging Baby Boomers May Swamp Cardiac Care
10. The New Crystalens HD Gives Many Baby Boomers and Seniors an Opportunity to See Clearly at All Distances while Reducing or Eliminating the Need for Glasses
11. He Said, She Said: Boomers Rate Their Spouses Health
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 2016 , ... First Choice Emergency Room , the largest network of ... Medical Director of its new Mesquite-Samuell Farm facility. , “We are pleased to ... said Dr. James M. Muzzarelli, Executive Medical Director of First Choice Emergency Room. ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Dr. ... from injury. Recently, he has implemented orthobiologic procedures as a method for treating ... one of the first doctors to perform the treatment. Orthobiologics are substances that ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... Canada (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... Conventional ... pursuit of success. In terms of the latter, setting the bar too high can ... risk more than just slow progress toward their goal. , Research from ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , ... June 24, 2016 , ... Those who have ... these feelings, many turn to unhealthy avenues, such as drug or alcohol abuse, as ... Michigan, has released tools for healthy coping following a traumatic event. , Trauma sufferers ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... ... crisis. Her son James, eight, was out of control. Prone to extreme mood shifts and ... him, he couldn’t control his emotions,” remembers Marcy. “If there was a knife on ... say he was going to kill them. If we were driving on the freeway, ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. , June 24, 2016 ... GBT ), a biopharmaceutical company developing novel therapeutics ... significant unmet needs, today announced the closing of ... shares of common stock, at the public offering ... shares in the offering were offered by GBT. ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016 ... the "Structural Electronics 2015-2025: Applications, Technologies, Forecasts" ... In-Mold Electronics, Smart Skin, Structural ... Structural electronics involves electronic and/or ... protective structures, replacing dumb structures such as vehicle ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... SAN CLEMENTE, Calif. , June 24, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... pulmonary function testing company, is now able to perform sophisticated lung ... ndd Medical Technologies , Inc. Patients are ... labs.  Thanks to ndd,s EasyOne PRO ® , ARL patients like ... any needed testing done in the comfort of her own home. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: