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Increase in Baby Boomer Drug Use

The opioid addiction has definitely reached crisis status.  However, when you think of individuals that struggle with addiction to opioid drugs, most of us picture younger individuals — definitely not retired or elderly persons.  However, there is also an increase in baby boomer drug use— especially in relation to opioid use.  Baby boomers are defined as people born in the years following World War II, when there was an increase in the birth rate. Currently, there are upwards of 76 million baby boomers in America.

Interestingly, drug and alcohol abuse has most often been correlated with youthful teens, but now adults over age 50 are more prone than ever to addiction and substance abuse.  In fact, people of the baby boomer generation as as prone to addiction as their children and grandchildren according to recent statistics.

This growing baby boomer substance abuse epidemic may surprise some, but in reality the increase is really not that shocking.  For instance, when you think about the environment that the baby boomers grew up in with free love and Woodstock mentalities, it truly isn’t shocking that baby boomers are struggling with opioid addiction.  Many quit using drugs in their late 20’s and 30’s but as their children have left home, some of these individuals have picked up drug habits once again and have entered into addictions.  The most commonly abused drugs in this age group include marijuana, heroin, prescription opioids and alcohol.

Along with the fact that baby boomers grew up surrounded by drugs and more lax attitudes in relation to drugs, is the fact that these individuals are aging and in need of more and more painkillers.  Due to the fact that they are taking more painkillers due to problems related to age, the use and addiction rates are increasing.

In sun, the attitudes of baby boomers in relation to drug use, along with the increase in their age causing more health related problems required painkillers have led to an increase in opioid drug addiction in individuals of this generation.  Awareness of this increase is key to getting help for individuals struggling with opioid drug addiction from the baby boomer generation.