It is a surprising fact, but older Americans, primarily the Baby Boomers, are increasingly struggling with addictions to drugs and alcohol.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration estimates that the number of adults age 50 and older who are substance abusers will increase to 4.4 million in 2020.
“Baby boomers used when they were young and now they’re using when they’re old,” said Tom Johnson, chief executive of Apex Behavioral Health, an outpatient treatment center in the Detroit area.
There is fear among those in the treatment field that clinics across the country will be unable to cope with the demand for recovery services.
“The boomers are continuing to use addictive substances at higher rates than the generation before them,” said Susan Foster, director of Columbia University’s National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse. “We could see it, but we didn’t plan for it. We don’t have the money to invest in treatment, but if we don’t (treat), we’re going to pay for more.”
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