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Prescription Drug Abuse Among the Baby Boomer Generation


The youngest members of the baby boomer generation are quickly approaching their 50thbirthdays, which indicate how many millions of these Americans are reaching older age. While the senior years typically mean going into retirement and enjoying a more relaxed lifestyle, some older individuals are contending with a swiftly growing trend in the United States. Prescription medication abuse is on the rise among baby boomers due to the following problems.

Physical Decline

With older age often come more medical ailments. From arthritis to heart disease to type 2 diabetes, many baby boomers are now confronting serious health problems. To address these concerns, they may be undergoing treatment that demands the usage of one or more prescription drugs. For some baby boomers, physical decline can lead to drug usage that over time evolves into drug abuse.

Emotional Distress

Retirement is a marker of older age to which many people look forward. However, the sudden absence of professional relationships and responsibilities can leave baby boomers with a lack of meaningful activities and people with which to fill their days. Mounting physical problems and the passing of loved ones can add to growing emotional distress. The abuse of prescription drugs may provide a temporary respite from feelings of loneliness or fear. In some cases, baby boomers may even self-prescribe drugs to mask a clinical mental ailment such as depression or an anxiety disorder.

Medical Misusage

Some baby boomers may not realize how multiple medications can cause adverse effects. If they do not inform their physicians of all the prescriptions they are taking from other doctors, they may be given drugs that can cause life-threatening complications. Other older individuals may complicate the effects of their prescriptions when they combine them with street drugs or alcohol. It’s never too late to free yourself from a drug addiction. Las Encinas Hospital in Pasadena provides comprehensive dual diagnosis treatment options for patients of all ages who suffer from prescription drug addictions. To speak with one of our counselors, or to learn more about our chemical dependency services, call (888) 348-2165.