Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Boomers' Drug Use Could Create Big Challenge
(Feb. 9) -- Forget the obvious scourges of growing old: cancer, osteoporosis, dementia. The unexpected health threat to millions of aging Americans might actually be their own substance abuse.
As baby boomers hit their 50s, rates of marijuana and illicit prescription drug use are rising. A survey of 20,000 older Americans by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) recently concluded that nearly 5 percent of those older than 50 had either smoked pot or popped pills within the past month. That's up from 2.7 percent in 2002.