Skip to comments.Drug use up for boomers, down for teens
Posted on 09/07/2006 9:03:19 AM PDT by Incorrigible
By KEVIN FREKING,
Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON - Some moms and dads might want to take a lesson from their kids: Just say no. The government reported Thursday that 4.4 percent of baby boomers ages 50 to 59 indicated that they had used illicit drugs in the past month. It marks the third consecutive yearly increase recorded for that age group by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health.
Meanwhile, illicit drug use among young teens went down for the third consecutive year from 11.6 percent in 2002 to 9.9 percent in 2005.
"Rarely have we seen a story like this where this is such an obvious contrast as one generation goes off stage right, and entering stage left is a generation that learned a lesson somehow and they're doing something very different," said David Murray, special assistant to the director for the Office of National Drug Control Policy.
The annual survey on drug use and health involves interviews of about 67,500 people. It provides an important snapshot of how many Americans drink, smoke and use drugs such as marijuana, cocaine and methamphetamine.
Overall, drug use remained relatively unchanged among Americans age 12 and older in 2005. About 19.7 million Americans reported they had used an illicit drug in the past month, which represented a rise from 7.9 percent to 8.1 percent. The increase was not only due to the boomers, but an increase was also seen among those 18-25, the age category that always ranks highest when it comes to illicit drug use.
Among the 18-25 group, drug use rose from 19.4 percent to 20.1 percent. Federal officials commenting on the report emphasized the drop in use among younger teens without citing the increase in the next older age group.
"The news today is there is a fundamental shift in drug use among young people in America," Assistant Surgeon General Eric B. Broderick said in a statement.
Murray called the 18-25 group the gauntlet through which everybody runs. He said the peak of drug use among youth in the United States occurred in the late 1970s.
"And they brought it with them like baggage when they hit 50 and 60," Murray said.
Drug use by baby boomers increased from 2.7 percent in 2002 to 4.4 percent last year. Marijuana was by far their drug of choice, Murray said.
That's true overall. There were 14.6 million people who reported using marijuana in the past month, about 2.4 million cocaine users and 6.4 million people who used prescription drugs for nonmedical purposes, such as pain relievers, tranquilizers or sedatives. In 60 percent of those cases, the drugs came from a relative or friend for free. Only 4.3 percent reported buying the drug from a drug dealer or other stranger.
While drug use went up slightly in '05, so did alcohol use. Slightly more than half of Americans age 12 and older reported being current drinkers of alcohol. That translates to 126 million people, up from 121 million people the year before.
Officials noted that alcohol use among those 12-17 did decline from 17.6 percent to 16.5 percent.
The percentage of Americans who acknowledged driving drunk at least once in the past year also dropped slightly in 2005 from 13.5 percent to 13 percent.
Meanwhile, tobacco use held steady at about 29.4 percent, even though among youths 12-17, tobacco use did drop from 14.4 percent to 13.1 percent.
On the Net:
Office of National Drug Control Policy: http://www.whitehousedrugpolicy.gov/
Not for commercial use. For educational and discussion purposes only.
Let the Boomer bashing commence!
I'd be interetsed to know how voting patterns break down among the boomer drug users.
Baby boomers....just trying to leave America in worse shape than when they inherited it. Oh, what a legacy.....:)
On balance, the Boomer generation has been a disaster.
They have undone most of the good work of their parents, the amazing WW2 generation.
I'll wager that you could make a pretty good guess.
I agree 100%...and I'm a Boomer.
"Do what I say, not what I smoke..."
not that I am overly optimistic about the next generations
Generational warfare. Good fun in every era.
They couldn't have been that great. They must have been terrible parents.
probably because there was no debriefing after the war.
they just came home and went back to work.
but they were a resolute and brave generation.
And classy, like Reagan and Bush 1.
Too bad the Dems got them hooked on Social Security and Medicare
Baby boomers rebeled, pure and simple. Who knows why, out of boredom I guess. That rebellion has led to dire consequences for America.
No generation before, and hopefully no generation hence... will squander so much as the Boomers have..
Their parents handed them the greatest nation ever created, and by and large they have systematically found ways to destroy it with their own selfish desires.
It will take at least 2 generations to undo all the damage they have done to this nation unfortunately.
BTW, lots of really stupid things that they rebeled against, needed to be rebeled against.
Tell me what generation you are in and all the great things you are doing.....
I am from Gen X.....we are trying to pick up the pieces.
They couldn't have been that great. They must have been terrible parents.
Not terrible but, IMO, laid back after so much death and distruction and fear to an extreme. IOW, "Hey, let 'em live it up! Enough doom and gloom, it's time for fun now!"
rebelled from decency, common-sense, and morality
That's true. I started my own business 27 years ago and have 112 people working for my company, earning a living, raising families, and paying taxes.
Maybe I'll just fire everyone, burn down the building and collect insurance. This building America notion is just a bunch of crap.
I'll leave it up to the iPod, Nintendo, mosh-pit, grunge generation to build their own future.
My mother the boomer:
1. Did drugs
2. Married multiple times
3. still has mental problems
I am so thankful that she was a mess otherwise I might have turned out to be a liberal.
This is all easily explained. Boomers know where to GET the drugs. And we ain't telling those little punk brats. More for us.
That line is in need of a laugh track.
My niece and nephew, the NEW generation (ages 24-26)
1. Heroine addicts
2. Two children by age 17
3. Married multiple times
4. Still has mental problems
I'm so thankful their mother the nurse was so upright. Otherwise they may have become republicans.
I think it's counter productive to compare generations. There are great people within every generation, and bad people too. What changes is the institutions and ideas that people live by.
Far out, Catherwood!
It's an unfair comparison. This generation gets is drugs nice and legal from Big Pharma.
A baby boomer would think that....not surprising.
Thats really sad but I have to ask what are their parents like??
At least they think. Gen X should be called Gen why?
Sheesh...what a depressing prospect: a bunch of old pot heads sitting in nursing homes spouting left-wing political drivel and agitating for free health care so they can torment the country till they're 100.
Nonsense. No such thing as an old pothead. The stuff Kills!, doncha know?
LOL! You're right, or the kids wouldn't have grown up so strange.
Second paragraph. This is coming from a baby boomer.
Except meth and a few hundred others of course.
This whole idea of generational warfare is past absurd.
The generation before mine was made up of heroes and villains. The one after is as well. And the beat goes on.
Like I said, Absurd nonsensical drivel.
I didn't realize Baby Boomers changed that.
I credit leaders like Ronald Reagan & MLK
You've only pointed out the stains
In recent years, now that the boomers have finally gotten old enough to take the reins of power from the previous generations they have led the country to the right.
The great destructive acts that brought down America like the 60s legislation and the immigration act of 1965, etc, etc, etc, and the years from the 30s to the 90s were not the boomers.
A generation doesn't start running a country until they start hitting their 50s.
In 1996 the oldest boomer turned 50, the youngest one turned 32.
In 1970 when the sixties were over the boomers ranged in age from from 6 to 24, think about it folks, then ask yourselves why you bought this bill of goods.
Anybody want a hit?
Maybe when you grow up you will.
The nations comptroller is full on nonsensical drivel? Well, I guess you are free to believe that. I hope the boomers don't leave us in worse fiscal shape than when they took charge. But their history would dictate that that is exactly what they will do.
God bless you.
You are one of the great ones.
And you are a conservative.
After they get through, they can return to saving humanity from the "60 something" hippies.
Nice, Decent People. Nurse. RN. Dad owns a construction outfit. White bread Camarillo, California. Money. Good school. Clothes. Advantages. Loving parents/family. Siblings.
But your self indulgent history would dictate that you won't take it.
I hope you are in charge soon, while you still know everything.
Please know that we realize it....we just hope to leave our children a better America than when we do eventually get it. However, I guess that won't be too hard after the Baby boomers get done with it.
OK everyone, I apologize to all
The Baby Boomer generation has been great and this country has moved steadily in the right direction with them as steward.
We could never do worse than the Boomers....never. The X'ers are the first generation to grow up with divorce, abortion, no school prayer, the list goes on and on.....maybe you boomers can turn it around but time is not on your side.