The Great Recession is here and does not seem to be letting go of the American economy. More workers are unemployed than ever before. For those who are over 50, the chance of finding new, equivalent employment is slim to none. New statistics are showing that unprecedented numbers of these unemployed seniors are turning to drugs to cope with the stress. While some Medicare parts offer coverage for treatment, this leaves out a big portion of over-50 Americans who have not reached the eligibility age of 65. Additionally, the addiction problem is compounded by the easy availability of prescription drugs through insurance programs.
Senior Drug Addiction Getting Worse
In a report recently released by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration, a quarter-million Americans over the age of 50 are being actively treated for a drug addiction of some sort. Not only has this number more than doubled in the past 18 years, many of these cases go undocumented and untreated. The true rate of over 50 drug addiction is estimated at closer to a half-million seniors and pre-retired age Americans.
This drug problem stems from the lax pain treatment programs and the increasing availability of pain medication. While prescription drugs are only a part of the problem, records associated with illegal drugs are a little more difficult to come by.
Breaking Free from Addiction
Unfortunately, these addictions won’t just disappear when the economy turns around. Instead, those suffering with drug addictions will be even less likely to find work than before. Facing budget cuts, lawmakers and enforcers don’t have the ability to control the problem.By implementing a few simple controls, access to addicting drugs will diminish and these over 50 addicts will have a chance to recover their lives.
Control the distribution of pain clinic prescriptions
Monitor patients who are prescribed pain medications
Regulate doctor prescribed pain medications
Offer more free addiction treatment programs
Drug addicts over 50 don’t have to work all that hard to satisfy their addiction. Many doctors assume that those over 50 are responsible adults who are truly experiencing pain. As a result, addictions in the over 50 crowd are literally at an all time high.
photo credit: Kazarelth