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Finding Drug Addiction Treatment for a Baby Boomer

Finding Drug Addiction Treatment for a Baby Boomer

If you are a baby boomer and having trouble with drug addiction, you are certainly not alone.  Proposed by some as an effect of coming of age in the 1960s, a recent survey has shown that individuals 50 years of age and older are seeking treatment for drug addiction at rising rates.

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, baby boomers, defined as people born between the years 1946 and 1964, have continued to use drugs in their older age, which has doubled the rate of individuals seeking treatment – from 5.1 percent in 2002 to 9.4 percent in 2008. This dramatic increase in drug use and addiction is only found in this segment of the population. The study also showed most individuals – 75 percent – reported that their primary substance abuse began before the age of 25; however, the study also showed a proportional increase of newly abused drugs within five years of admittance.

Statistics on Treatment Admissions for Baby Boomers

Although alcohol is still the leading substance of abuse leading to treatment, it has taken a sharp decline from 84.6 percent in 1992 to 59.9 percent in 2008, according to SAMHSA. Instead, illicit drug addiction has filled the gap within the baby boomer segment of the population. Based on admittance rates to treatment facilities between the given years, statistics showed:

  • Marijuana abuse leading to treatment increased from 0.6 percent to 2.9 percent
  • Cocaine abuse treatment rates increased from 2.9 percent to 11.4 percent
  • Heroin abuse treatment rates more than doubled from 7.2 percent to 16 percent
  • Prescription drug abuse treatment rates increased from 0.7 percent to 3.5 percent

All in all, older Americans seeking treatment for multiple substances rose from 13.7 percent in 1992 to 39.7 percent in 2008.

Regaining Life in Older Age

Overall, this dramatic trend in drug abuse cannot be solely attributed to growing up the ‘60s. There are many variables that may affect this increase in drug addiction. In some instances, individuals who are growing older can be plagued with boredom, loneliness and depression, and turn to substances to fill certain voids in their life.

It is, however, never too late to unleash yourself from the bounds of drug abuse and addiction. Solid treatment in the best exclusive luxury addiction rehab facility can help you achieve sobriety and embrace life in a healthy manner.

Charlie’s Recovery

Charlie grew up in the 1960s and early 1970s, a time in which drugs and free love ruled the culture. He partook in many of the activities of the time, drugs included, but upon graduating college, Charlie married, got a good job and had three kids. Charlie still drank on occasion, but was a good father and husband and held down a steady job.

When their youngest child moved out of the house, Charlie and his wife were left with an empty nest. Within a few years, Charlie was nearing retirement and spent his evenings at home. Remembering the days of his youth, he began filling his evenings with alcohol and started taking prescription painkillers he had saved from an old back injury. Eventually, these pills became a necessity and he began taking more than 10 a day. After his wife urged him to do so, Charlie admitted himself into a treatment program.

In an intensive inpatient treatment program, Charlie stopped taking the pills and cut out drinking altogether. He re-discovered his loves of golf, sightseeing and cooking. After treatment, he found these activities incredibly fulfilling; they gave him more joy than drinking or taking drugs ever did.


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