One of the fastest growing segments of the population suffering addiction issues are those in their 50s. yes, that is true. The number of people over the age of 50 who are being treated for addiction is drastically on the rise.
According to the Sacramento Bee, in a recent study, older adults who reported using illegal drugs within a year, nearly doubled between 2002 and 2007, while use of nonmedical pharmaceuticals increased from 2.2% in 2002 to 3.9% in 2009.
This is quite terrifying given the extreme expense of medical care. A vast majority of this group will be on public benefit medical insurance, or at least publically-subsidized care in the coming years.
Why are older adults becoming addicted to drugs and alcohol? The study found depression or anxiety to be the number one reason older adults abuse drugs or alcohol. Additional factors such as economic and financial stress and retirement were also cited as contributing factors to dependency. Nearly half of the respondents named prescription drugs and alcohol as their substances of choice.
Society has made strides with educating young people as to the dangers of drugs and alcohol. We would like to think our older generations would know how bad they are. Their reasoning behind addiction is a psychological study for another blog. But we have to see if we can offer them drug classes that will keep them from stepping off the path of righteousness in the future.