According to the National Institutes of Health, the number of boomer addictions warrants a consumer alert for the first time due to prescription and illicit drug abuse. The Institute has actually posted the dangers on its website located at NIHSeniorHealth.gov. The baby boomer era is facing a real problem of substance abuse.
Boomers are visiting emergency rooms in record numbers for reactions to cocaine, heroin and marijuana. There are reasons for this. Many have experienced health concerns, divorce, grief, and job loss which all contribute to this. Another thing is there is a great deal of dependency and overuse of legal prescription medications. The average man over 50 takes four prescription drugs. These are generally a combination of anti-anxiety drugs, anti-depressants, and prescription pain medications.
With Boomer Addiction, the body and time are not on their side
So, what happens when a boomer does get addicted? Well, the problem becomes compounded with this age group as opposed to a younger person. The metabolism is not the same with an older addict so the drugs do not process as quickly as they did at a younger age. The same dose a younger person takes can have a much more long-term and potentially dangerous effect on a person in their 50′s.
Boomers tend to take prescription medications to control cholesterol and high blood pressure. Illicit drugs can really harm someone that is mixing them with prescription medications. In addition, older people that have chronic conditions like heart disease and diabetes are even at a higher risk when they engage in long term substance abuse.
Here’s the good news, treatment is often successful with older drug users. As a matter of fact, it works quite well. There are boomer-specific addiction treatment centers now available. This coupled with a good support system and the willingness can lead to success. Check out some resources and make sure that your elderly loved one gets the help that they so need.