Drug Abuse among Older Adults on Increase: Ageing Baby Boomers Abusing Drugs at an Alarming Rate

drug abuse rate

As baby boomers are getting older, drug rehabs are seeing an increase of older adults being admitted for addictions. This problem is not new as it has been going on for years. Robert Higgins of New York State’s Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services says that most seniors have been abusing drugs for twenty years or more.

Boomers and Addictions

Alcohol is the most popular drug of choice by older adults with prescription drug abuse coming in a close second. Marijuana, cocaine and heroin also make the list of drugs that seniors abuse. New York State’s Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services reports that drug abuse among older adults has increased by 106% for men and 119% for women between 1995 and 2002.

Drug abuse among seniors was unforeseen and is now almost at epidemic proportions because of the boomers. Back in the 60’s and 70’s many drug users maintained some of their drug habits and now society has aging drug users. This demonstrates that drug addiction and abuse knows no age limits. According to the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the increase in those over the age of 50 being admitted to treatment programs for just heroin abuse rose from 7,000 to 27,000 between 1992 and 2002.

According to CBS News and Brunilda Nazario, MD of WebMD, boomers with cocaine addiction increased from 3,000 to 13,000. Also, the percentage of older adults in treatment for opiate abuse increased from 6.8% to 12% from 1995 to 2002.

Alcohol Addiction among Older Adults

Alcohol abuse is the major substance abuse among older adults. According to a study published at the National Library of Medicine, in the U.S., it is estimated that 2.5 million older adults have alcohol problems and 21% of hospitalized adults over the age of 40 are alcoholics. According to the report, hospital costs are as high as $60 billion every year.

In 1990 those over the age of 65 comprised 13% of the American population and it’s estimated that by 2030 older adults will comprise almost a quarter of the population. This means that this has serious implications for both alcohol-related problems and the costs involved to respond. Today, alcohol-related hospitalizations for older adults are similar to those for heart attacks.

Older Adults and Treatment

SAMHSA Administrator Charles Curie, states in a newsletter, “We are only beginning to realize the pervasiveness of substance abuse among older adults.” SAMHSA is making older adults a priority in hopes to be ready for what is expected to be a continuing growing problem.

Wanting help is the first step to getting help. To find out about resources close to home contact the local Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous.


Drug Abuse Recovery: Combat Addictions: Surf the Brain Waves with EEG Biofeedback

drug abuse

Substance abuse grips so tight that self-cessation is unattainable. In many cases, psychological dependency on drug use or alcohol can only be broken with intervention.

Neurotransmitters in our brains allow brainwaves to communicate with our body. These brainwaves communicate to how we sleep, think, eat and move. When our brains are in inappropriate states then our emotions and sometimes actions become altered. These results can be depression, sleep disorders, anxiety, phobias and much more. From these many people will self-medicate as a form of stress relief. Continuous use more often than not leads to addiction.

Drug addiction and alcohol abuse are often hand-in-hand with psychological disorders. According to the Journal of American Medical Association, (Archives of General Psychiatry; 63:426-432) substance abuse is prevalent in 65% of those who have a severe or persistent mental illness. In another study, the Journal of American Medical Association reports that 53% with drug dependencies and 37% with alcohol dependencies are afflicted with at least one serious emotional disorder. These disorders range from depression, bipolar, anxiety, panic disorder, obsessive compulsive, phobias and eating disorders. These individuals have dual diagnosis and “just quitting” will not cure the underlying problem.

New Research in Addictions Recovery

Electroencephalogram (EEG) biofeedback is now being used to train the brain to function at its full potential in order to combat addictions. EEGs are the most non-invasive way to read what activity is happening inside the brain. Neurofeedback is ground breaking technology that is helping many addicts recover and live healthy lives. David A Kaiser, Ph.D., designed a study to follow addiction recovery patients using this technology. Principal researcher of this study, William C. Scott, found that drug rehabs across the United States generally achieved a success rate of 20% – 30% in relapse prevention one to two years after regular treatment. In the study that follows individuals receiving EEG biofeedback treatment, in excess of 50% of the subjects remained drug free one year later.

How Does This Work?

EEG biofeedback training involves one or more sensors placed on the scalp and one to each ear. Brain waves are monitored by an amplifier, and a computer-based instrument processes the signals and provides feedback.

The human brain is adaptable and capable of improving its own performance if given cues what to change. Electrical brain waves are altered when damaged by repeated drug and alcohol abuse. Information can be made available to the brain to train it to make adjustments. Ultimately this decreases or eliminates the reliance on drugs or alcohol and teaches positive ways to respond to stress factors. This method, when used in conjunction with cognitive therapy to combat the underlying problem has a high success rate.

Is this for Anyone with an Addiction?

This technology is for any individual afflicted with an addiction who has the desire to change. If a person is not open to this method or simply is not willing to change, this will not work.

Is EEG Biofeedback Covered by Health Insurance?

Some health insurance plans will cover EEG biofeedback for some conditions. Some plans may cover a portion of the cost. Depending on your plan coverage, a diagnosis along with a physician referral may be required. Check with your insurance company before commencing any treatment to ensure what you are entitled to.

Getting Help

According to a National Survey on Drug Use conducted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, substance abuse currently affects 45.4% of the American population. If you are a person seeking help or know of someone who needs help contact the Association for Applied Psychophysiology & Biofeedback. The AAPB is a reliable source to learn more information on this technology and to locate a therapist near you.


Life After Rehab – Living in a Halfway House: What to Expect when Entering a Long Term Living Facility

life after rehab

According to choosehope.com, entering a long term rehab facility after initial treatment can improve the chances of long-lasting recovery. Not only does it ease the transition back into normal society, it also allows the recovering person a chance to address unresolved issues and change behaviors while in a safe environment with other recovering people and counselors.

What to Expect

Often, a recovery house or halfway house has rules. While they may change slightly from center to center, the following rules are fairly common to any facility.

  1. Attend 90 meetings in 90 days of AA or NA. This allows a recovering person to get a support group and become comfortable going to meetings. Often, a halfway house will provide a ride to meetings, or at the very least, will have meeting directories of what is available in the area.
  2. Get a sponsor. A sponsor is someone who can guide you through the 12 Steps of a 12 Step Fellowship, as well as offer support in recovery.
  3. Get a Homegroup. A homegroup is a specific meeting of a 12 Step Fellowship that the recovering person makes a committment to attend each week. Also good for service positions in a 12 Step Fellowship.
  4. Get a Job. Often, addicts or alcoholics have not worked a job sober in a very long time. This allows them to support themselves, learn how to handle a job sober, and learn money management skills.
  5. Do their Chore. Often, a recovery house or halfway house will have a chore list that changes each week. Everyone must pitch in to make a clean, sober living environment. Chores usually include cleaning, cooking, and outdoor work.
  6. Participate in Outpatient or theraputic counseling. Often, residents are required to attend counseling sessions with an outside counselor.
  7. Participate in house meetings. Everyone is expected to contribute to their living environment.
  8. Obey curfew/outside stipulations. Residents are expected to be in the house at a certain time, or sometimes, residents may not leave the living situation without another resident with them.
  9. Avoid relationships with the opposite sex. Often, an addict needs time alone to focus on their recovery, rather than starting a new relationship or fixing a battered one.

While it may sound difficult, choosing to come to a halfway house or recovery house after time in a treatment facility may mean the difference between an addict remaining sober or returning to the drug or drink of their choice. Often, that choice is the difference between life and death.


Alcohol Use and Boating: Drinking and boat use are a dangerous combination

Best Addiction Treatment Center in Miami

Hundreds of people die worldwide each year in boating related accidents, with many of the deaths related to alcohol use. Eighty percent (80%) of these fatalities are caused by drowning, a major cause of death in the United States. Half of all boating fatalities are alcohol related. Fatality trends are even higher in cold water states like Alaska.

Exposure to the vibration, noise, glare, and motion of boating are factors can that produce fatigue in boaters. These factors are very similar to the impairment of boaters caused by the use of alcohol. Combining the use of alcohol and the normal fatigue caused by boating is synergistic. The sum of the impacts are much greater than the expected sum of the individual stress factors.

Dr. Vik Tarugu of Detox of South Florida, operates his Miami Addiction Treatment Center with the knowledge that there are no income requirements for addiction. Just because you have a big yacht does not make you any less susceptible to developing an addiction to drugs or alcohol. Boaters need to “pay special attention on the water, just like they would while driving down a busy freeway. Just because alcohol is not prohibited on boats does not give you free reign to consume foolishly” said Dr. Tarugu.

Alcohol Use Issues to Consider While on the Water

  • Boat motion and use stresses vessel operators. Alcohol use adds further additional stress on the boat operator
  • Eat before drinking and limit use to less than one drink per hour if you must drink
  • Provide for a non-drinker to available to operate the vessel, especially if there is any chance the primary operator has had too much to drink
  • Operating a vessel under the influence is a federal offense and is illegal in many states as well
  • Boat operators need to accept responsibility for their actions and exercise common sense to their use of alcohol

Federal penalties for boating under the influence (BUI) are severe. Operators with a blood alcohol level of 0.08% or higher are subject to a civil penalty up to exceed $1,000, a civil penalty up to $5,000, and up to one year in prison. In most states, BUI is treated the same as driving under the influence and carries the same penalties.

Exercise care while boating. Ensure there is a designated operator available to run your boat. Remember that alcohol use and boating are a dangerous mix.


Addicted Spouse? Here’s How To Weigh Your Options

How To Deal With An Addict For A Spouse

Being and staying married is tough- that’s for sure. How much harder would it be with a partner who is into substance abuse? Should you stay or leave? Is it even possible to leave?

Love and relationships are things that need hard work, perseverance, and patience. It is not something that you can just shut off every time an argument comes up. But when is enough really enough? Leaving or staying is a personal choice one makes, but just to give you an objective perspective, here is how to better deal with an addicted spouse.

Your partner failed to get home last night and you have got no idea of his or her whereabouts. He or she does not answer the phone and your stomach is already growling because of hunger. When you go check your purse, your credit card and cash are missing. Heartbroken, angry, and hungry you feel desperate about the case.

No words can explain about your emotions, but yourself. Then, your spouse comes home days later and once again you feel great relief; your anger is easily melted away. You forgive him again at the same time telling yourself that this will be the last issue and you will leave him for good next time.

Why it is great to stick around?

People who are substance or alcohol dependent do get better with proper treatment. Families seeking help for an addicted spouse and are willing to cooperate throughout the process is more likely to see the light of day than those who choose to give up on the situation.

Science says…

  • Addiction goes beyond personal control. No matter how much he loves you, you will never be his first priority again. He can’t stop now and he can’t control himself from his cravings.
  • Both the physical and psychological aspects of a human being are affected with substance abuse. Stopping abruptly can produce unpleasant side effects like panic attacks, sweating, shaking, and in worse cases seizure and death. A long-time user cannot stop drugs straight away because it is just impossible to do that.
  • Brain functions are altered with substance abuse. Changes in the actions, learning and decision making are affected.

Why it is NOT great to stick around?

Before making the decision of whether to endure or to head out, ask yourself these questions. Answering these will help you evaluate your own feelings about starting a new life.

  • Is your addicted spouse physically or verbally abusing you and your children?
  • Is your addicted spouse getting drunk in the presence of your children?
  • Is your addicted partner using drugs around you and your children?
  • Is your addicted partner stealing from you?
  • Do you shut up just to keep peace in the house?

If you’re experiencing these things in your relationship, maybe it is time to leave. At this point, you are not in the right position to help him or her anymore because you also need help. His parents and siblings, perhaps, could help in detaching him from his addictive behavior. However, it is his or her willingness to go through professional treatment that will have the strongest effect on his renewal of self.

Experts say…

It is important that you stay focused on your own healing. Instead of putting too much energy on your spouse, you need to get back on your feet and focus on your life and the children. You can also learn more about addiction by joining a support group to be able to understand what you have been through.




Is Drug Addiction Destroying Your Family?

prescription_drug_addiction in south florida
Suppose you drink more than you would like to and hope to stop in the near future. Or perhaps, you use illegal narcotics and realize that you actions are negatively affecting your life. Have you thought about the impact that your choices are having on your relatives? Is your addiction destroying your family?

Does your family avoid you?

Is your family avoiding interacting with you? Perhaps every time you come around, your presence leads to fights amongst your relatives and they would prefer that you stay away. Or maybe your family would like to have a small peaceful get together with alcohol and they are afraid that if you come, you will be more likely to overly imbibe so they do not invite you. If your family is choosing to distance themselves from you, then maybe your actions are having a negative affect on others. If your family is being effected it might be time to check into a drug detox center near you.

Are your choices leading others down the same path?
Suppose you notice that your little brother, cousin or child is beginning to act disrespectfully. Or maybe you know that they are beginning to use drugs like marijuana or drink a few beers with friends. Perhaps the are mirroring your behavior and believe “if you can do it, why can’t I?” If you are abusing drugs, then you already know the impact that it is having on your life. However, do you really want your poor actions to affect others, especially children and young adults?

Is your family constantly giving you money?
You do not have the rent this month because you spent a portion of it on drugs or alcohol. So, you call your family members for money so that you will not be evicted. However, they too are struggling to make ends meet because their paycheck does not go as far as it used to go. So they help you and go without something for the next month. Perhaps they forgo a nice meal with a spouse or summer camp deposit for the children. Just know, every time you spend money on drugs and alcohol and neglect other important bills, those responsibilities will ultimately fall on your family.

Does your family worry about you constantly?
Does your mom call you on Saturday morning, hoping you made it home safely? Or maybe your sister offers to drive you somewhere because she is worried that you may be drinking and driving. Or maybe a relative offers to babysit your kids routinely because he or she does not want your children to stay at home by themselves or come home to a drunken mom or dad. Your actions have consequences and even if others enable your choices, it does not mean they are not making sacrifices of their own.

So what’s next? Considering rehab and detox
You owe it to your family to consider a proper detox center in Florida. Professionals can help you detox off of the drugs you are currently addicted to and help you live a healthy life. Just remember, no matter what, your family loves you and wants the best for you throughout life. If you are addicted to drugs and alcohol, seek help immediately.


Effects of Ambien

Ambien is otherwise known as a hypnotic drug that can affect the chemical balance of the brain, leaving people with sleeping disorders feeling extremely good. Ambien is primarily used in order to treat all forms of insomnia. The tablet walks with an immediate release mechanism that can help you to fall asleep as soon as you go to your bed. However, it is also known as a sedative, and has been rampantly abused by drug addicts as a form of antidepressant.

The primary reason Ambien is ingested by drug addicts is mainly to impair the thinking as well as any kind of reaction in the human body. After the ingestion of Ambien, you might still be feeling sleepy in the morning. Moreover, the effect lasts for at least four hours before you are fully awake, so that you will be able to commence your daily activities. There are many people that have made use of this medication and increased in various activities like making phone calls or even driving and eating without having any recollection of it afterwards. So, if you are a normal person and this happens to you, you need to stop taking Ambien and immediately get in contact with your doctor.

For most drug addicts, the mixture of alcohol and Ambien works out to the best of their needs. However, getting addicted to this mixture is pretty easy, and happens within the smallest time possible.

What are the primary effects of Ambien use?

If you are a regular user of Ambien, make sure that you do not go over the prescribed dosage. If you do, you end up building a tolerance to this medication, and upon increase of the dosage, you end up overdosing. This is something that should not be done, until and unless advised by your doctor.

Ambien is also known to be pretty easy habit forming, and hence it should only be used for the people that it has been prescribed for. You should never share this medication with any other person, especially those that have had a history with drug abuse.

Ambien is also known to pass through the breast milk into the nursing baby. So, even if you have an unborn baby, or a nursing baby, make it a point to inform your doctor to provide any alternative medication. If not done in due time, this could result in unwanted harm to your baby.

Effects of Ambien

  1. Depression
  2. Suicidal thoughts
  3. Mental illness
  4. Overdosing
  5. Sleep apnea
  6. Disease in the liver
  7. Kidney problems and complications

Hence, if you find yourself making use of Ambien, it is very important for you to maintain the proper dosage prescribed by your doctor. If you go overboard, then you are walking the fine path to becoming a drug addict. It is also pretty dangerous to purchase Ambien without any kind of prescriptions. Of course, there are Internet vendors that can give you Ambien, but you should be pretty careful of ingesting those tablets.


How Drug Abuse Impacts Your Family

If you have a drug problem, it is not only you that suffer, but your family goes to the same kind of hell as well. It is a disease that not only affects you, but your entire family. Drug use can put a lot of stress on guardians, as well as other members of the family, or for that matter any person living in the same household.

What are the things normally committed by drug addicts?

  1. When a person is addicted, he/she will not know what they are doing for the majority of the time. So, entrusting them with any job cannot be possible.
  2. They can get easily distracted, and tend to lose focus on the work that they do. The only thing that they are interested in is to consume drugs at regular frequency.
  3. Getting fired from a job happens with regular frequency. Moreover, failing a drug test, a person may not be able to attempt a similar job in the near future.
  4. They might not have a fixed schedule, and their studies can go for a toss.
  5. Coming home at night would be pretty irregular.
  6. Under the effect of drugs, they might do any criminal activity, which they might not recollect after the euphoria ceases.
Your drug addiction will have a huge negative impact on your family

For a drug addict, it might seem that the family members are constantly fighting among themselves, and that he/she is not wanted. However, that is far from the truth. Drug use can cause a lot of instability within the family itself, and the person who is using the drugs might say or do something that can cause a rift within the family. Even words that are told harshly to the neighbors and friends can end up creating conflicts within the family members, making them feel ashamed of your conduct.

For the people addicted to drugs, they feel that they are perfectly normal, and everybody else is either hyperventilating, or do not have the same strain of thought as them. They believe that they do not have any problem, and yet the rest of the world is out to get them. They see no problems in their own conduct, but find others to be pretty harsh with them.

It is however important for the drug addicts to note that there are a lot of people that do realize their problems, but are simply keeping it under wraps so that they do not end up admonishing you in front of other people. This is something that is done for the betterment, so that the drug addicts can mend their ways before they run out of their own track. It might be upset and confusing for many, but drug addicts should understand that they not only end up spoiling their own lives, but also that of those people that are associated with them.

Hence, it is important for drug addicts to get rid of their addiction and come into the mainstream by undergoing different detox treatment schedules.