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Old and Stoned

by | Addiction, Alcohol and Drugs, Treatment

Home Addiction Old and Stoned

Imagine your grandmother or grandfather getting high…sounds crazy right? Well recently, accidental overdoses and pain-pill addiction in the over-50 crowd has sharply increased due to opiate medications coupled with liberalized pain-treatment policies.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has shown that between 1992 and 2008, the over 50 population being treated for addiction has doubled, from 102,700 to 231,170 — with these numbers being low estimates. Since an electronic tracking system for prescriptions is still in development, these statistics are outdated, always a couple years behind. Especially in recent years because tough economic times have traditionally shown to increase addiction rates. The despair of economic hardship leads people to medicate their pain with pills. Other SAMHSA finds confirm that: “The share of people in the addicted population who were unemployed rose from 19.l4% in 1992 to 28.8% in 2008.”
Seeing as prescription drug addictions are on the rise, and addiction does not discriminate, it is no surprise that the drug use in the over-50 crowd has doubled. The only solution to this problem is to update the national electronic system for tracking prescriptions as a means to gain a tighter control on prescriptions. On top of this, patients should be continuously monitored and more aggressive crackdowns on “doctor shopping” as well as on the shady doctors opening barely legal “pain clinics” who distribute meds like candy.