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Baby Boomers Still Doing Drugs

According to a recent government survey by SAMHSA, roughly 8 percent of Americans ages 50 to 59 had used an illicit drug in the past year. Marijuana was the most commonly abused, but close behind was abuse of prescription drugs.

That’s about 4.3 million adults over the age of 50 who are abusing drugs – a number that far exceeds that of their parents’ generation.

The driving force behind this trend is people who used drugs when they were younger and never really stopped. The percentage of pot and pill abusers in this age group grew by more than 50 percent between 2002 and 2008, as more baby boomers turned 50.

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

Health officials warn that lifelong drug use means a greater likelihood of health complications like lung cancer or heart attack, as users get older. Plus, these deeply rooted addictions can be more difficult and more expensive to treat.


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