Individuals who were born between 1946 and 1964 are referred to as the “baby boom generation” because they were a part of the increase in births that occurred after World War II. The soldiers that fought in that war came home and started families that grew the American population significantly. The large demographic was the source of a number of social changes in the country, and it was also one in which recreational drug use was a common occurrence. Unfortunately, this tendency toward drug and alcohol abuse to escape reality often continues among this age group, well into the later years. It seems that addiction in Baby Boomers is growing at an astounding rate.
Addiction in Baby Boomers Is A Growing Medical Concern
The large demographic group that is called baby boomers is now entering their retirement years. Census figures estimate that this group comprises about 50 million Americans over the age of 65. For many of these individuals who spent the last 40 years working, the enforced inactivity of retirement can be a serious problem, causing feelings of depression, lack of purpose and anxiety about the future. These people often turn to drugs or alcohol to deal with these feelings, and in the process, they become addicted, which can often lead to additional health problems. Locating and offering treatment for drug and alcohol abuse to vulnerable members of this group has been a prime focus in the medical community.
Why Is the Increase In Substance Abuse Occurring?
Addiction experts point to a number of circumstances that are causing an increase addiction in Baby Boomers:
· Acceptance of substance use – Substance abuse and addiction in Baby Boomers may not be recognized because they may have used alcohol or drugs throughout their adult lives. These individuals may see nothing wrong with using substances to relax or deal with stress. They may not be able to see when their addiction has become hazardous.
· Dealing with life issues – Many Baby Boomers find the diminishing physical condition and increasing health issues of aging a very disturbing development in their lives. They may have difficulty accepting the change in activity level or work status. These individuals may turn to substances to escape fears about aging and mortality.
· Multiple medications – Individuals of baby boomer age often have health conditions and receive multiple medications, which can often increase the risk for substance abuse and addiction.
· Reluctance to seek help for addiction – Older people often feel that they are expected to be the wise ones and have difficulty admitting that their drug or alcohol use has become a serious problem. They may feel their addiction causes disappointment in loved ones, and they may try to avoid confronting the issue.
Aging may bring additional stresses that contribute to baby boomer addiction. If you or a loved one needs help with drug or alcohol addiction, the time to act is now! After all you are not getting any younger! Let our Board Certified Addiction Medicine Specialists customize a treatment plan for you. There is help for addiction because you’ve got a lot of livin’ left to do! Call 972-203-3600 to schedule a consultation.