Drug Abuse in Baby Boomers

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Drug abuse in baby boomers has nearly doubled over the past 16 years. Dr. Edward Hill tells us more about his alarming trend and the study that looked into drug abuse in older Americans in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Drug abuse among Americans age 50 and older has risen sharply in recent years, with admissions for treatment nearly doubling between 1992 and 2008.

Although alcohol is still the leading substance abuse cause of hospital admissions for people in this age group, studies show older Americans are also turning to illicit drugs in large numbers.

A study of admissions data by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration found:

Marijuana abuse exploded among the older age group in the period studied, with admissions for treatment rising from zero-point-6 percent to 2-point-9 percent.

Cocaine abuse nearly quadrupled, from 2-point-9 percent to 11-point-4 percent.

Heroin abuse more than doubled, from 7-point-2 percent to 16 percent.

Prescription drug abuse jolted from zero-point-7 to 3-point-5 percent.

The National Survey on Drug Use and Health estimates that 5 percent of adults 50 and older used illicit drugs in the past year and that 3 percent of them were either dependent on alcohol or abused it.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.