Have You Talked to Your Parents About Drugs? The Startling Rise of Baby Boomer Drug Abuse

According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, drug abuse rates are rising rapidly among Baby Boomers. The Baby Boomer generation of Americans who were born in the years following World War II extends from 1946 to 1964 and includes people who are currently between the ages of 63 and 49. Overall, the Baby Boomers comprise a large segment of the United States population, given that more than 75 million people were born during that period. The fact that they are increasingly using drugs provides reason to be worried about the impact this could have on the future of the country. The most alarming piece of information in the WLRN report was that the 55-59 age group is the one which is experiencing the most significant rise in drug abuse rates. The reasons for this, however, are not necessarily what you might assume.

Given that the Baby Boomers were the generation which was in its teens and twenties during the 1960s and 1970s, when drug use exploded among the American youth, it would be natural to expect that this is the major reason why boomers are now using drugs more. Indeed, many do smoke pot as an old habit which persists from the days when they were young. Other street drugs are common, as evidenced by the fact that the number of emergency room admissions for cocaine abuse among South Florida baby boomers has been steadily increasing, whereas it has been on the decline for the general population since 2006. Street drugs are not, however, the primary reason which is driving the rates of boomer drug abuse.

The number of baby boomers who are receiving treatment for addiction to prescription drugs has exploded since 2001, when 15 percent of those in treatment were members of the boomer generation as compared with 30 percent now. Following alcohol, prescription drugs are the most common reason why boomers end up in rehab, with sleeping pills and opiate painkillers being the two most prevalent drugs of addiction.

What is driving the increase in baby boomer drug addiction?

Given that prescription drugs are actually the leading drugs of addiction among baby boomers, it is evident that the rising tide of addiction among that generation of Americans is not necessarily a result of their drug use during youth. More commonly, what is happening is that one of these people goes into see his or her doctor with a complaint such as insomnia, back pain or anxiety, and is walking out with a prescription for Ambien, Vicodin or Oxycontin, or Klonopin. These and similar drugs are highly addictive and susceptible to abuse, and patients are at great risk of developing a dependence. A doctor from a local addiction treatment center is quoted in the PBS story as saying that most physicians receive very little training on the subject of substance abuse and addiction, and that they very often use prescriptions as an easy solution for resolving a patient’s symptoms, even if it is not actually a treatment.

Compounding the problem is the aggressive marketing engaged in by drug companies — most of which rake in annual revenues in the tens of billions of dollars — and the way that the pharmaceutical industry lavishes doctors with gifts such as free trips to “medical conferences” in Hawaii and other exotic locales as a way to compel them into helping to sell the drugs. The doctors stand to make more money by writing quick prescriptions so that they can spend less time with each patient; the drug companies stand to make massive profits; and the patients very often wind up addicted.

What Are the Most Common Symptoms of Prescription Drug Abuse?

Drug Rehabilitation Centers have now been concentrating on helping individuals recover from prescription medication drug abuse for several decades. In recent years, it’s become widely known the depth and seriousness of prescription drug use by a large number of individuals around the healthcare industry along with general public.

Simply because pharmaceuticals are prescribed from apparently respected doctors, the problem of prescription drug abuse is not really taken as seriously or given the same interest when compared to illicit substance misuse and abuse. Fortunately, residential drug rehabilitation programs are focusing on making information on the actual character of pharmaceutical drug abuse accessible in order for individuals to be cognizant of the warning signs in connection with abuse of these medications, the hazards linked to misuse, and how to proceed in the event you or a person you love is dealing with being addicted to prescriptions.

Prescribed drugs can easily make a person addicted just as efficiently as street drugs akin to methamphetamine, heroin or cocaine. One grows to be addicted to pharmaceuticals when they rely on them in ways, which were not advised by their health care specialist. The individual starts to take the prescriptions to be able to feel better emotionally or possibly avoid the realities of their life. They begin to have serious desires for the medicine between doses and can oftentimes participate in illegal activities to be able to obtain more of the substance. Similar to using illegal narcotics, the addict begins to encounter negative circumstances in their lives like marital difficulties, complications on the job, and risk of medical problems or overdose.

A few of the most typical warning signs of prescription drug use are listed below:

  • Visiting the doctor and complaining of overstated or fabricated symptoms in order to get additional prescriptions.
  • Declining involvement in various, more positive treatment methods for a condition, accompanied by a desire to just take more drugs.
  • Shaky emotionally charged behavior, which include swift changes in moods, anger and melancholy.
  • Consulting several different medical practitioners in order to get more prescriptions.
  • A reputation of drug abuse or unnecessary use of medicinal drugs.
  • Instances of clear well being pursued by extreme stress and anxiety.
  • Consuming medicinal drugs well over advised limits along with a higher frequency.
  • Using the prescription medications of others.

Dependence on prescription medications happens just the same way as addiction to just about every other drug. It is a vicious pattern that once begun can only end up being broken with the involvement from an extraordinarily successful drug treatment program. Following an individual beginning to frequently use prescription drugs, they will develop a dependency. The more they use, the more they desire the drugs. The intervals without having the medication turn out to be a lot harder for the abuser to tolerate, and consequently, are marked by emotional lack of stability and severe urges caused by the body’s lack of ability to create the natural chemicals such as dopamine and endorphins which the user has long been replacing with their substance abuse. The addict remains trapped in a hopeless physical and mental dependency, which will most effectively end up being broken by way of more medications or, more positively, by undergoing alcohol and drug inpatient rehab.

People who are particularly vulnerable to prescription drug use usually are senior citizens, individuals who have had a severe trauma and people who have needed psychological intervention. These kinds of individuals are prescribed large amounts of drugs to make it through distinct medical events in life. Through this process, the person begins to transfer the success of the medicine in a particular part of their life to every area. It’s easier to sleep through the night, easier to get up in the morning, personal interplay is more relaxed; the job doesn’t seem to be such a toil and so forth. Whenever this attitude takes hold, compulsion for the substance starts.

Numerous common effects of prescription drug use are:

  • High quantities of anxiety and panic set off from the minutest incongruences or obstacles within a individuals regimen.
  • Depression symptoms coming from a discrepancy within the body’s chemical substance make-up, in addition to the unethical lifestyle of drug dependence.
  • Irregular sleep routines, not sleeping or sleeping too much.
  • Having withdrawal signs and symptoms once running out of the prescription medication or when trying to quit independently.

Fortunately, there’s a solution. In patient drug rehab centers possess extensive knowledge about relieving prescription drug dependence. They offer long-term drug treatment, which aims to rehabilitate drug addicts to a mental, and physical status, which is better than before someone ever used medications. Drug rehabs do this simply by using a combination of detoxification to handle the physical part of dependency, life skills training and cognitive therapy to handle the mental element of drug addiction and detailed relapse prevention in order to make the move back to personal life as smooth and uncomplicated as possible.

Addiction to prescribed drugs including Oxycontin, Vicodin, Xanax, Valium, anti-depressants and others can be completely recovered from. Basically no one needs to exist with a burden of prescription drug dependency when there is a solution.

The Facts On Teen Prescription Drug Abuse

Prescription drug abuse is sweeping the nation. It affects people from all walks of life and this epidemic is growing. A study done by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and U.S. Centers for Disease Control showed that visits to the ER that were related to the misuse of prescription pain relievers more than double between 2004 and 2008. Unfortunately, teens make up a great portion of this number.

In fact, a recent survey taken by the US Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration showed that 6,000 Americans a day begin to abuse prescription drugs. More than 1/3 of these new abusers are under the age of 18.

Many people believe that prescription drugs are safer than illicit drugs because doctors prescribe them. This may be a reason why kids try them in the first place. Another reason is that they are fairly easy to get a hold of, as they are commonly found in most people’s homes in America.

Abuse of Prescription Drugs May Lead to Heroin Use

Many heroin addicts have reported that they turned to heroin when the prescription painkillers became too expensive to support their habit. As with all drugs, a tolerance begins to build over time with frequent use and the addict has to take more and more of the drug to feel the desired effects. This can become very expensive with prescription drugs. Someone addicted to prescription painkillers may need to take around six or seven pills per day in order to keep their high. Surprisingly, this same amount of pills can be sold for a gram of heroin, which can supply an addict with a high for three to four days.

A recent change in the formula of the painkiller Oxycontin leaves the pills crush-proof, and therefore difficult for abusers to snort or inject. This also has many painkiller addicts turning to heroin, as the pills are no longer an option. In fact, a study of more than 2,500 people with opioid dependence found a 17 percent drop in Oxycontin abuse with the 2010 arrival of the new formula. During the same time period, heroin abuse doubled. This may seem a bit radical for a teen to become involved in, but it is a very real possibility in the future if he stays down this road.

Why Teens Make Up Such A Large Percentage

Kids are often confronted by many challenges during their teenage years. These challenges may include problems at home, social acceptance and peer pressure. Peer pressure may take place at school as well as in their own homes by way of the Internet. Digital peer pressure is something that is sweeping the nation and affecting teens tremendously.

With the popularity of social media sites such as Facebook and MySpace, there is an overload of photos and conversations based with partying and hooking up being the main topic. By talking with your teens about these topics and keeping them busy with extracurricular activities, they may pass on the drugs for a more promising future.