Baby Boomers are Still Using Illegal Drugs

This continued use poses medical risks to these individuals and is likely to put further strains on the nation's healthcare system

illegal-drugsBaby boomers are still turning on to illegal drugs forty years after Woodstock, doubling the rates of illegal drug use by the previous generation, according to a government study released on Wednesday. The rates of people aged 50 to 59 who admit to using illicit drugs in the past year nearly doubled from 5.1 percent in 2002 to 9.4 percent in 2007 while rates among all other age groups are the same or decreasing, the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration reported.

“These findings show that many in the Woodstock generation continue to use illicit drugs as they age,” said SAMHSA Acting Administrator Eric Broderick. “This continued use poses medical risks to these individuals and is likely to put further strains on the nation’s healthcare system — highlighting the value of preventing drug use. The study surveyed use of marijuana, cocaine, heroin, hallucinogens, inhalants and prescription drugs used non-medically.

At the other end of the age spectrum, the rate for those aged 18-25 who admitted to using illicit drugs was relatively unchanged at 19.7 percent, from 19.8 percent the previous year and 20.2 percent in 2002. Teenagers also appear to be partaking less frequently, with the rate of drug use among 12 to 17-year-olds falling to 9.5 percent from 11.6 percent in 2002. Among that group, marijuana was the drug of choice, used by 6.7 percent in that age range.

About 100 million Americans have tried marijuana at least once, according to government estimates. While marijuana use in the United States is illegal, a handful of states have approved its use for medical purposes. Don’t expect the White House to consider legalizing marijuana. “The discussion about legalization is not a part of the president’s vocabulary under any circumstances and it’s not a part of mine,” Kerlikowske, Drug Czar, said in a press interview in June.

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3 Comments

  1. tommylee

    Question is, with whom are they scoring bonus points? The drug Barons? Take the needle out of the tube and the tube will deflate… A New Dutch saying.

  2. John Wheelwright

    Stories like this absolutely irk the hell out of me. As a person who fits exactly in the boomer range mentioned here, who grew up in a music environment in the 60's streets of London and Amsterdam, I have never used drugs. What irks me is that what the government called illicit drugs are used my many many more Americans then the 100 million estimated by government. I have not been to a gathering or party here in the States yet (in the last 30 years) where marijuana is not part of the offering. My kids in school report that about every peer smokes dope. In countries where the government took their blinds off, Marijuana is becoming a medicinal steeple. When is this US government ever going to deal with the real issues of society, rather than keep on trying to score bonus points with fabricated numbers and illicit surveys?

  3. John Wheelwright

    Excuse for the misspellings. Just get very angry, when I read garbage like this story.

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