The South Florida Sun Sentinel published an article, Rapid Rise in Boomer Addicts, which reported that baby boomers who came of age in the drug-fueled psychedelic 60s, faced adulthood pressures as prescribed medications became a common way to deal with anxiety, pain and stress. Statistics reveal the number of people in their 50s and 60s reporting illicit drug use and seeking help for addictions has skyrocketed in the past decade, and the National Institutes of Health reported on the rapid rise in boomer addicts, and released its first consumer alert about prescription and illicit drug abuse signs and dangers in June, 2012.
There are 79 million boomers born between 1946 and 1964 which explains the high statistics. They faced a perfect storm as teens or young adults during the 60s and 70s when society embraced experimenting with drugs like marijuana and LSD. By the time the boomers reached adulthood, physicians were increasingly prescribing legal, but addictive, sedatives, tranquilizers and opiodes.
Chronic conditions, commonly age related, like heart disease and diabetes, are heightened by substance abuse, especially for those who have been using for years, experts say. Addictions are also known to be far more likely to be fatal to seniors. Statistics show people now in their 50s are more likely than those of previous generations to be struggling with dual addictions to alcohol and prescription or illicit drugs, and that Floridians aged 51 to 60 comprised 14 percent of those entering treatment for dual addictions in 2011.