The Celebrity Therapist

So why is it baby boomers can’t just  say NO to pot smoking?  Maybe it is because they are part of the me generation.  Perhaps it is because they have the largest disposable income available to them to purchase drugs. 
Maybe they are in a time warp and still believe it is the 1960’s.  No
matter what the reason is, 8 percent of boomers ages 50 to 59 have used
some type of illicit drug in the past year according to the Mental
Health Services Administration.  In fact, Marijuana seems to be the most
commonly used drug.  However, pain killers, sleeping pills, and
anti-anxiety medications run close behind.  The percentages of pill
poppers and and pot smokers has risen more than 50 percent between 2002
and 2008. I  am seeing this rise  myself  with the  clients walking through the doors of  my private practice and at the Malibu Rehabs I  have worked

The question arises why has teen use dropped and illicit drug use
among individuals in their fifties risen?  What these boomers hadn’t
realized before it  became too late is you can become addicted to
marijuana.  In years gone by it was believed you couldn’t become
addicted to just an “herb”.  Wrong.  So  why then is this generation of rock and roll music, free love, and strong political stances hooked on
pot?  Perhaps it is because this generation was known for using drugs
and alcohol extensively for recreation in their younger years and they
just never stopped.  In fact they most likely began using before the age
of 30.  Another huge problem  is pain killer addiction is on the rise.   Although the generations
prior to the baby boomers didn’t even like taking an aspirin, the
boomers are used to a quick fix to relieve emotional or physical pain. 
Baby boomers are also now dealing with the deaths of aging parents or
being sandwiched in between aging parents and young children.  Also, the
nation is  in one of the worst economic times it has seen in many years with some  baby boomers  losing their  jobs with no new jobs to go to.

If there is any  hope to this era of rising drug addiction among baby boomers,  they do seek treatment, unlike when they were younger, and   it was not socially acceptable to admit they had a problem.  However, with the rising costs of health care, will they receive the treatment they need?  Unfortunately, many of the treatment programs today do not take insurance or if they do, it only pays a small portion of their stay
in treatment.  Will society be able to support all the baby boomers as
they get older?  Researchers project by the year 2020, with the rise in
the 50 to 59 age group needing treatment, we will most likely need to
double the number of rehab facilities.  Health care providers need to
pay close attention to their patients.  Memory loss  can definitely be a
result of long time marijuana abuse and not just the onset of
Alzheimers Disease .   So it is time to step out of denial and step into
the harsh reality that marijuana is an addictive substance.  It is
never too late to seek treatment.
Sherry Gaba, LCSW, is a Psychotherapist in private practice in
Agoura, CA.  She is the author of The Law of Sobriety: Attracting Positive Energy for a Powerful Recover.   She is the
Psychotherapist and Life Coach on Celebrity Rehab on camera and behind the scenes on VH1 with Dr. Drew.  She is a published author and has articles in
Cosmopolitan, New York Daily News, the Huffington Post, Los Angeles Time, and has been a media expert on CNN, Fox, San Diego Living, E ! News, Prime News, Inside Edition, and KTLA LA.  Please contact her for life coaching anywhere in the world, teleseminars, speaking engagements, and psychotherapy.   She can be reached at or check  her web site at  Follow her on Twitter:

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