Now that Baby Boomers are entering their 60s or beyond, they are bringing into their golden years a propensity for addiction. Many find that when they retire, they may start drinking more or abusing illicit drugs or prescription medications. It may be boredom or the fact that they are trying to medicate the pain of losing their aging friends or family that is fueling a rise in the number of older adults reporting substance abuse problems.
Between 1992 and 2008, those 50 and older seeking admission into substance abuse treatment programs more than doubled in this country and that number will continue to grow, experts say, as the massive baby boom generation ages.
Because no one wants to think of the elderly or maybe their grandparent or aging relative as an addict, there may be an inclination to ignore or rationalize the substance abuse problem. It is important to remember that addiction knows no age limit and the problem will only get worse.