WASHINGTON, D.C. (WUSA)-- Baby Boomers are battling drug and alcohol addictions at an alarming rate, according to a new study.
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the number of older adults admitting to being hooked on drugs has nearly doubled between 2002 and 2007.
A survey released by the Hanley Center suggests 40 percent of those surveyed admitted to first abusing drugs when they were in their 50's and 60's.
LeNelle Mozell, an addiction specialist at the Residential Program Center (RPC) in Arlington County, says those numbers echo the cases she has seen. RPC operates under the umbrella of the Volunteers of America Chesapeake, and it operates a detoxification unit.
Mozell said, "It's been hidden for a while, and as they are reaching out for services the problem is becoming more apparent," about the issue which is bordering on epidemic nationwide.
In Arlington County, Mozell says, the Baby Boomer population abusing drugs usually abuses alcohol, marijuana, and prescription drugs. Mozell says depression and socio-economic stresses among this demographic are leading to the increased drug use.
She said, "The economy is not doing so great so they are losing their homes, and they are being identified more quickly than in the past."
Unfortunately, she adds, there aren't enough resources in social services dedicated to battling drug addiction within Baby Boomers. As a result, she tells us, many don't receive the treatment they need in order to get clean.