Mind Your Body TV Episode 18 with Tricia Greaves.
Do you experience “uncomfortable feelings”? Do you have extra time on your hands since you retired? Perhaps you lost your job? Are you dealing with a precarious financial situation as a result of the economy? Are you a baby boomer who’s also now a caregiver, and who’s shouldering more of the family’s burden than you should be? Do you need emotional support, and because you don’t have it, you reach for a bottle—of alcohol or pills? Do you gamble or are you addicted to Internet pornography? As you might imagine, you have plenty of company, no matter which habit has become one you couldn’t always control. Maybe you can now: No time like the present to learn the reasons for your addiction.
Boomer addictions on the rise
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) reported in November last year:
- Treatment admissions aged 50 or older increased from 6.6 percent of all admissions in 1992 to 12.7 percent in 2009.
- The proportion of older adult alcohol admissions who reported alcohol as their only substance of abuse decreased from 87.6 percent in 1992 to 58.0 in 2009, while the proportion who reported alcohol in combination with drugs increased from 12.4 to 42.0 percent.
- The proportion of older adult alcohol admissions who reported a co-occurring psychiatric problem tripled between 1992 and 2009 (from 10.5 to 31.4 percent).
In late 2009, SAMHSA said:
- Nearly 5 percent of people older than 50 had either smoked pot or taken pills during the past month, a figure up from 2.7 percent in 2002.
- An estimated 4.3 million adults aged 50 or older, or 4.7 percent of adults in that age range, had used an illicit drug in the past year, based on data from 2006 to 2008.
- As we baby boomers continue to age, the number of people seeking treatment for substance abuse will double by 2020. That’s a lot of boomers needing a lot of help.
Reasons for your addiction
If you’re dealing with new stressors, are feeling lonely and need to fill a “hole” with “something,” that something may not be the best thing for you. If your relationships, job, self-esteem or your health are suffering, there’s no time like the present to face up to your problem and take it off your list of New Year’s resolutions as you learn the reasons you’re addicted. Tricia Greaves, president of The Nelson Center for Emotional Healing, talks about baby boomer addiction in the second in our series with her. Please watch her tips on dealing with food addiction in this additional video.
(Photo courtesy: © Dana Rothstein | Dreamstime.com )