Scientists studying how age relates to drug use and cocaine

According to the Wall Street Journal, an increasing number of older Americans are abusing illicit drugs, like cocaine, heroin and marijuana. As such, more of America’s aging population is getting arrested on drug charges and dying from overdoses. Perhaps this should not be a surprise, though, considering that the baby boomer generation — which is 76 million strong — was the generation that used the most drugs in their youth.

Most social scientists agree that it is difficult to compare one generation’s drug use against another’s due to the historical differences that apply to each generation. For example, the prescription drug epidemic might apply to today’s elderly population, whereas it would not have applied to elderly generations of the past. That said, one university professor claims to have disentangled the data to find out how being from a particular birth cohort could affect one’s drug habits.

The professor calculated that baby boomers have double the likelihood of dying from a drug overdose than the Silent Generation before them. Further, they were 1.67 times more likely to die from a drug overdose than Generation X, which followed the baby boomers. When it comes to marijuana use, baby boomers lead all other generations, and in terms of pain-pill abuse millennials born after 1980 have the highest likelihood of abuse.

Florida is home to a large baby boomer population, but clearly not all of them use drugs. Fortunately, in the event that an individual is wrongly arrested of a drug crime that or she did not commit, the accused person will be entitled to a criminal defense and an attorney under the law.

Source: Wall Street Journal, "How Scientists Compare Drug Use Across Generations" Zusha Elinson, Mar. 15, 2015

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