Kids Doing Fewer Drugs While Over 50s Do More

Project2501a userphotoNo surprise: drug use by baby boomers is booming, reports ABC News:

Drug use among America’s youth is dropping, but it’s booming among people over 50, a U.S. government survey released Wednesday shows.

Last year, the rate of illicit drug use among children and teenagers 12 to 17 years old dropped to 9.5 percent, down from 11.6 percent a decade earlier, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) latest national survey.

Meanwhile, illicit drug use among adults 50 to 64 years old has increased in the past decade.

Specifically, illicit drug use among adults 50 to 54 has more than doubled since 2002, reaching 7.2 percent last year. For people 55 to 59, such drug use has more than tripled, reaching 6.6 percent last year.

Marijuana is by far the most-used illicit drug among both children and adults, according to SAMHSA, a division of the Department of Health and Human Services.

At a press conference Wednesday in Washington, officials expressed particular concern about use by those 12 to 17 years old.

“There’s no question that marijuana is harmful to the developing brains of adolescents,” said SAMHSA administrator Pamela Hyde, adding that marijuana use has been linked to “significant I.Q. declines.”

As for young adults – those 18 to 25 years old – rates of illicit drug use have remained somewhat steady over recent years, with a slight increase in marijuana use, according to the survey…

[continues at ABC News]

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  • Haystack

    Kids can’t find drugs because the baby boomers are doing them all.

  • Juan

    The Dude: Luckily I’m adhering to a pretty strict, uh, drug regimen to keep my mind limber.

  • hanspy

    “There’s no question that marijuana is harmful to the developing brains of adolescents,” said SAMHSA administrator Pamela Hyde, adding that marijuana use has been linked to “significant I.Q. declines.” (Quote.)
    Read the research again plz. The IQ drop was NOT significant and the drop changed to normal after stopping the use of cannabis. But how much was the IQ drop from kids drinking boose?And was the damage restored after stopping drinking?Oohh,Your kids don’t drink?And that is bc it is all regulated? Than regulate cannabis to.The most easy way to hold some grip on abuse by kids. And Btw. Your kids do drink.Sorry.Check your local hospital and ask how many kids they treath every week for alkohol poisening. And how many for losing there brains bc they smoked pot?

    • atlanticus

      The “brain damage” they claim could just as easily be described as “retained neuro-plasticity”… (you know, by a non-doctor…so take it with a grain of salt, if you like…)

      Who the hell wants to be an ossified adult, anyway? Only the kids who have been taking prescription pills every day since the first day of kindergarten; they wouldn’t know the difference…

      • Calypso_1

        Retained plasticity isn’t necessarily a good thing. You really don’t want stable functioning pathways constantly being altered.

        • atlanticus

          Sez thee non-artiste!

          Eh, okay, I can see how that might be bad…

          • Calypso_1

            Oh, I have long had my dance with duende and know the pains with great affection.

  • Chris Sky

    This makes perfect sense! MOST of the children are so dumbed down and indoctrinated they think “everything is fine” and that the have a bright future of “the American dream” ahead of them thanks to their best friend… The Government… The over 50’s are watching jobs, 401ks, disappear, home values plummet and realize that their social security will be paid out in “IOUS” if they are lucky. They know there is no such thing as retirement, and the will be working til they die (if they are lucky enough to keep their job) and pass on nothing but a life of debt servitude to their children… .and you wonder why they are doing more drugs?!

    • VaudeVillain

      I think you give the kids too little credit and the adults too much. I know some teens, and pretty much all of them are aware of just how fucked they are. People over 45 are, in my experience, about 50/50 between morosely watching it all go down the drain and nearly psychotic insistence that everything is fine and dandy.

      • Chris Sky

        I applaud you and your circle of friends…. however you are far too optimistic. You are fortunate to know people who are aware and capable of critical thought….BUT watch 30 seconds of “Black Friday” footage to see the mindset of the “average” American. Nuf said. lol

    • Iuwus

      because kids don’t ever think stuff they don’t say. they’re not dogs lois.

    • Rob Lai

      Nah. Most of the ‘kids’ I’ve worked with get how hopeless it all is. They just never got fooled into thinking it could be another way. It’s not depressing to them. It’s just life. It’s mainly the Boomers who let themselves get sold a bill of goods that are feeling let down. The kids never expected better.

  • InfvoCuernos

    I know my father can’t wait until he retires next year to get stoned out of his mind. After years of playing it straight, he’s ready to cut loose. He’ll proly get busted on his first score because he thinks the undercover cop selling him “grass” is too young to be in law enforcement.

    • MrsAnomalon

      If he moves to Washington or Colorado state he would still be a law abiding adult enjoying his legal right the same as anyone with a beer or cigarette – legal marijuana is working today – the power is coming out of the criminal hands and into the hands of law abiding citizens through the power of democracy!

  • Anarchy Pony

    Kids are fuckin’ lightweights these days.

  • Bruteloop

    Here we go again. The endless weed vs booze ‘debate’.
    I have asked this before but is Skunk use as prevalent in the US as it is the UK?
    That is what essentially passes as ‘weed’ over here and it often makes people idiots at best and very paranoid messes at worst.

    I came of age in a period when drug experimentation and use were the norm. Rite of passage and so on. I tried, used and mostly enjoyed everything that I could get my hands on. But I lost friends and family to heroin, speed and coke, E and K abuse and psychedelics. Some died, some lost their minds. I struggled for a couple of years with addiction. I saw one kid become psychotic after smoking unbelievably strong Skunk day in day out and I saw a mate become unable to look after himself and almost lose his job and thus a roof over his head.
    Did I also witness alcohol abuse? Yes. Of course.
    That one is legal and the other not has no bearing on the damage done.
    Any of it can fuck you up.
    With everything it is all about how you do it.
    Of course, legalisation is the way, just as with prostitution.

    Does anyone question where the harmless weed comes from? Right now in the UK the ‘crops’ are often looked after by kids trafficked into the country or youngers in gangs. Are pot growers in the US all beneficent altruists? None of it is about money?

    The reason I stopped using drugs was the dealer in the club below where I worked had his leg macheted off below the knee, in the club in front of all the doormen present by a bunch who then took over the door.
    My local dealer was an old gay hippy who delivered on a sit up and beg pushbike with the stuff in a pannier basket on the front of the bike.
    But he got his stuff from some very dodgy characters. And the people behind them got where they were by being worse than them. And I was buying into all that, lining their pockets just to get high.

    So, sure, legalisation would be the solution.

    But in the meantime many people seem wholly capable of ignoring their part in a brutal chain of exploitation and abuse while endlessly extolling the benefits of the stuff they smoke.

    The pint I will drink tonight at my local is made in a brewery one borough away and as far as I know no one was brutalised in the making of it.

    • Juan

      I dunno, man. Here in California, I get my herb from the “emerald triangle.” It is outdoor grown, organic, “and as far as I know no one was brutalized in the [growing] of it.”
      But your point is well taken, I think it would be best all around if it were legalized and regulated.

      • Bruteloop

        Thanks for the reply. I assumed it was something of a different situation not least because of the climate limitations here and in Europe. Hence kids kept inside to look after the stuff…and the stuff is not organic.

    • Rus Archer

      25% of those who use cannabis in the u.s. pay for 100% of what gets consumed
      most of it gets passed around free
      or homegrown

      • Bruteloop

        Homegrown. How it should be.

  • DrDavidKelly

    When I was in my 20s we were doing acid mostly – pretty full on really whenI think back. We were dropping trips nearly every weekend sometimes 2 or 3. We’d drink loads too, smoke weed. I see youth today and they don’t smoke cigarettes because they’re bad for you, don’t drink much alcohol for the same reasons and they certainly dont take LSD. It’s all red bulls, iphones and crap music. I’m not sure which is worse, they’ll have cleaner bodies but screwed up personalities.

    • Iuwus

      don’t worry, i used to have a take that obsession just because i was vaguely aware i was meant to and wanted to please. i’d even kiss the poster in front of people to make it more convincing. hell i convinced myself for a while. and then i blossomed into a perfectly inappropriate asshole. have some faith in our youth.

    • Monkey See Monkey Do

      Its weird when I look back and wonder about having such a strong desire to re-arrange my chemistry on a constant basis. I still dip my toes every now and then, but I think a lot of people go through a period in the 20’s that acts as a sort of initiation ritual or coming of age ritual. Plus I try not to bag out the youth too much because I remember when gen x were bagged out on a constant basis by older generations.

      • DrDavidKelly

        Yeah I’m not bagging them out perse, although the music they listen to really is shite. Healthy people can’t be a bad thing. Drugs can lead to insight but I’m sure when I was 25 I was in it just to get high. No revelations were forth coming. Stanhope does a good ranty bit on it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2n34eeXWjUQ

  • bob dobbs

    I had been under the impression that the number one illicit drug, by any metric, was the underage possession of alcohol.
    Am I wrong?

  • jasonpaulhayes

    Doug Stanhope has a great bit about this titled “This Generation Sucks”.

  • X.

    The drugs this generation uses are just different, that is all.

  • Sean

    That’s depressing. This generation needs to get high and create.
    When you look at the most successful, creative, and interesting people(Steve Jobs, Carl Sagan, John Lennon, etc) QUITE often you will find they were drug users of some kind. Marijuana is so ubiquitous in music it’s almost as indispensable as a hammer is to a carpenter. And left-brained analytic computer people often have used LSD to wrap their minds around otherwise very complex problems for the sober mind.

    This generation is far too pure, chaste, normal, average, status-quo, sober, boring, etc, etc, etc.
    Where is the defiant spirit of previous generations? Hell, just look at the music. Music is a true indication of the state of a generation’s soul. What does ours say? Now, there IS a lot of excellent contemporary music out there. The band Animal Collective might be the best band of the past decade….but it’s just not enough.

    This generation has SO much potential. I hope they don’t throw it away by cutting off the potential reservoir of inspiration, creativity, and novel thinking that drug use can provide.

    I know that word, drug, is “icky” to some people. But many drugs are just fine. Some drugs have some problems…sure. Big deal. Should life be lived in a plastic bubble? EVERYTHING has a downside and an upside. Weigh it out and chose wisely…but don’t expect to live a sanitized life. Who would want that anyway?
    But, the most dangerous drugs just happen to be the ones that are most legal and available now. Alcohol, cigarettes, and prescription drugs are more lethal than ALL other drugs(marijuana, LSD, psilocybin, ecstasy, cocaine, crack, meth, heroin, speed) COMBINED….and multiplied many times over.

    More people died in the past YEAR from alcohol and cigarettes than have died from heroin over the entire past CENTURY.

    So anyway….I just hope this generation rebels a bit. It’s healthy. The world needs novelty and only they can bring it. It sure as hell won’t come from the older generations.

  • MrsAnomalon

    This article takes the time to mention a possible risk for the youth from marijuana but fails to note all the health benefits for the over 50’s who are choosing to enjoy it! Lower blood sugar and better sugar metabolism, stress and pain relief, better sleeping and digestion- all powerful advantages for seniors today who have the experience of many years and know what’s good for them!

  • Sean

    Both my parents drink alcohol. Usually it’s just a glass or two of wine with dinner. On special nights, they’ll have maybe 3 glasses.

    Both my parents are in their late 50s. Luckily, I’ve talked with them enough that they now both think marijuana should be legalized…though neither of them have ever tried it. They’re both fairly conservative…but also intelligent enough to hear out reasonable arguments.

    My dad probably won’t try pot any time soon….but my mom would like to try it. I plan to get some as soon as I can for her to try. I want to wait till I can find some really good sativa. I’ve told her she should do it on a mild summer evening, outside on the backyard patio, with her favorite music playing. I know that in that environment, she’ll come away from the experience completely convinced that marijuana is something that will benefit her life from now on.

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