It’s probably not a surprise at this point that boomers do drugs. A new study from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration found a “dramatic rise” in the proportion of people over 50 admitted to substance abuse clinics between 1992 and 2008.
Over 12 percent of admissions in 2008 were of people 50 or older, up from 6.6 percent in 1992. Marijuana may be considered boomers’ drug of choice, but abuse is treated far less than for other drugs. Just 2.9 percent of admissions were for marijuana abuse. Sixteen percent of admissions were for heroin abuse, more than double the rate in 1992, but cocaine saw the greatest increase in abuse; 11.4 percent of admissions were to treat cocaine abuse, four times the 1992 rate of 2.9 percent. Prescription drug abuse accounted for 3.5 percent of admissions.