Illegal Drug Use on the Rise in U.S.
Survey Shows an Increase in the Rate of Marijuana Use
Drug Use Among Baby Boomers
The survey showed an uptick in the use of illicit drugs among adults aged 50 to 59 from 2008 to 2010.
This may become a new battleground in the war on drugs, says Stratyner. These are executives, many of whom may be losing their jobs or profit margins due to the economy, he says. "A lot of people who are out of work and lost money went from not using to using."
Bruce Goldman, director of Substance Abuse Services at Zucker Hillside Hospital in Glen Oaks, N.Y., agrees. "We are seeing more people 55 and older seeking treatment. They grew up with drugs and may be facing retirement, health issues, or other losses and returning to drugs -- usually pharmaceuticals."
As far as treatment of substance abuse, there remains a gap between those who need treatment for substance abuse problems and those who actually receive it. About 23.1 million Americans aged 12 or older needed specialized treatment for a substance abuse problem, but only 2.6 million got it, the survey showed.
"This is disturbing," says Goldman. TV shows like Celebrity Rehab and the media coverage of celebrities who seem to go in and out of all sorts of rehabs on a regular basis has been both helpful and hurtful.
"The stigma of getting help has been reduced," Goldman says.
But these shows "aggrandize substance abuse, and some high-profile celebrities in the news make it seem like rehab is a vacation or trip to summer camp," he says. "It is hard work."