If you assume that providing healthcare to Baby Boomers (as they become elderly) is going to be like treating past generations of the elderly, think again. In addition to hip replacements and all that stuff, you should add drug treatment, given the Baby Boom generation’s higher use rates than previous generations.
Austin Chronicle: According to the new SAMHSA report, which analysed data from more than 68,000 individuals, the number of adults 50 and older with substance “dependence” issues is projected to more than double from an average of 2.8 million (for years 2002-2006) to some 5.7 million in 2020.Drug use among adults between the ages of 50 and 59 is on the rise, a factor “driven” by the “ageing of the Baby Boom cohort,” which has a higher lifetime drug use rate than previous generations, reports the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration — but not, it seems, a higher percentage of lifetime users than subsequent generations.
SAMSHA concludes that the higher drug use rates among older Americans poses a “growing public health concern.” Indeed, it would seem that this cohort is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of higher lifetime use rates. But how we’ll deal with the situation — by locking up granny perhaps, for breaking U.S. drug laws? — remains to be seen.
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