Blame it on Cheech and Chong. A generation of hipsters grew up in a culturally permissive society with a high tolerance, even a celebration, for drug use, and today they are paying the price.
Courtney Nichols is General Manager of Taylor Recovery, a sober living facility in northeast Houston. “I would not say that I’ve seen a decrease in younger people. But I have seen an increase in people over the age of 50 for sure,’ he says, adding that the numbers have been growing for about a decade. “Since 2009 we have seen an increase in men and women using illicit drugs.”
Nichols says substance-abuse disorder is a progressive illness, causing previous users to become more vulnerable to replaces through the years. “There’s so much pressure. Retirement, alteration in employment and income, may cause people to want to drink and self-medicate.”
A recently released Australian National Drug Strategy 2017-2026 identifies older people as a priority group for attention.