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Southern New England's Certified Elder Law Attorney

Rhode Island, Connecticut, and Massachusetts

Seniors and Addiction

The baby boomers came from a time of sex, drugs, and rock, filled with marijuanaLSD, and cocaine use. Now decades later, drug use among baby boomers is reaching epidemic levels.


With heroin use doubling, cocaine use quadrupling, and prescription drug abuse increasing at alarming rates among those ages 53 to 71, the problem is one we need to be aware of and begin to formulate treatment strategies.

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Because baby boomers are well-established in their lives and often live alone, their substance abuse often goes unnoticed. The data, however, paints a clear picture. According to the SAMHSA, the frequency of illicit drug use among baby boomers nearly doubled from 2002 to 2013.  While there has been an increase in substance abuse across the board, the three most common substances abused by this age group are alcohol, marijuana, and prescription medications.  Drugs and alcohol affect the body more as it ages, which is why according to the Centers for Disease Control, accidental drug overdose rates are higher among baby boomers among individuals ages 25 to 44. Prescription medications are the biggest culprits of accidental overdoses among baby boomers.

But another problem among this group is also emerging, those living on the street and being placed in assisted living and treatment facilities, bringing even more problematic drug abuse issues with them -- including cocaine, heroin, and over-the-counter medications -- and a set of attitudes not seen in this age group before.

This workshop will explore the issues of drug addiction among seniors from multiple socio-economic groups, including the co-occurring problems with addiction, such as homelessness, criminal activity, sexually transmitted diseases, and financial exploitation.  

Learning Objectives

  1. Demographics of the aging population, especially concerning the “boomers”

  2. A look at the physiology of aging with a focus on how it influences abuse problems in the elderly

  3. The prevalence of substance abuse in the geriatric population

  4. Examine risk factors and special dynamics of the “boomer” population

  5. Co-occurring issues with addiction

  6. Look at the reasons the diagnosis of substance abuse is a low priority

  7. Reviewing treatment options


Don Drake, LADC I (Retired), Connelly Law Offices, Ltd.

Offices in Pawtucket, RI, Mystic, CT, and Martha's Vineyard, MA


Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Connecticut Certified Elder Law Attorney

Call our office today at 401-724-9400 or complete the box below and ask about scheduling one of our free inservice or workshops.  If you have a specific need that you do not see here, please ask if we can provide a specialized inservice for your organization, clients or staff!

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Rhode Island Fiduciary

"Southern New England's Certified Elder Law Attorney"

Call Connelly Law Today

Rhode Island Elder Law Attorney

Phone:  401-724-9400

Fax:  401-724-3046

Our office locations


Broadway Street

Mystic, CT  06355


Rhode Island - Main Office

372 Broadway

Pawtucket, RI  02860



Martha's Vineyard

East Chop, MA  02557


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This website includes general information about legal issues, issues affecting seniors and developments in the law. Such materials are for informational purposes only and may not reflect the most current legal developments. These informational materials are not intended, and must not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances. You need to contact a lawyer licensed in your jurisdiction for advice on specific legal issues and/or problems.

© Connelly Law Offices, Ltd.  2023

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