Contrary to popular belief, young people are not the only ones who suffer from drug addiction. There have been a number of studies done to confirm that drug use is on the rise in older people. A report done in 2013 showed that the number of people between the ages of 50 and 54 who used drugs had doubled in the last decade. The report also showed that drug use in people between the ages of 55 and 59 had tripled. Drug use in people between the ages of 60 and 64 had also doubled.
Another report made by the National Survey On Drug Use and Health estimated that around 4.7 percent of people who are over the age of 50 use an illicit drug. The report also estimates that around 2.9 percent of people over the age of 50 are addicted to alcohol.
Prescription Drug Abuse Among Baby Boomers
Older people are likely to suffer from a chronic condition that requires the use of prescription medication. It is estimated that 90 percent of adults who are over the age of 65 take at least one prescription drug. While people who are over the age of 65 only make up about 13 percent of the population, they make up about 33 percent of the prescription medications that are written. Older adults are at an increased risk for developing a prescription drug addiction because they often take more than one medication.
A report done in 2009 showed that the number of older people visiting the emergency room because of narcotic painkiller abuse increased from 144,644 in 2004 to 305,885 in 2008. This is an increase of 111 percent.
Why the Elderly Become Addicted
There are several factors that are leading to an increase in drug addiction in the baby boomer population. This generation is dealing with a lot of new stresses and pressures. Many older people are dealing with the loss of their loved ones. Many of them also have to care for other people.
Additionally, many people in this age group have financial problems. The stress of dealing with financial and family problems can take a toll on anyone. That is why many people are turning to drugs and alcohol in order to cope with their stress. However, this only makes the problems worse.
Studies have also shown that women are more likely to abuse prescription drugs than men. Menopause is a major change that older women go through. It can bring an array of negative symptoms, such as insomnia, anxiety and depression that they use medication to relieve.
Why Inpatient Rehab is Important
Drug addiction can wreak havoc on anyone’s life regardless of their age. Fortunately, inpatient rehab gives people a second chance. It helps people overcome the problems that are causing them to turn to drugs or alcohol. It also helps save lives and improve family relationships.