An epidemic of heroin addiction is spreading among young adults, yet for the most part, the problem remains hidden. Shamed parents, blaming themselves and wondering what they did wrong, struggle alone. As one boomer mom told me, “No one wants to announce to family and friends that their son is a drug addict.”
I once had a dirty little secret. No, it wasn’t an online flirtation, a crush on actor Mark Rylance (that’s common knowledge) or a tendency for midnight fridge raids. It was a brief problem with BPSD, aka Binge-and-Purge Shopping Disorder, and it’s why online retailers such as Amazon, Target, Sephora and Beauty.com are such a success.
The rate of overdose deaths from powerful painkillers has nearly quadrupled since 1999, but new government figures show that since 2006, the rate of increase has finally slowed — except among older adults.
A new report finds 20 percent of older adults suffer from mental health or substance abuse problems. With an aging boomer population and a serious shortage of doctors, nurses and other health workers trained in mental health care, "the burden of mental illness and substance abuse disorders in older adults in the United States borders on a crisis," researchers say.
"I'm a pretty run-of-the mill alcoholic," says Oscar winner Paul Williams. "I never came out of a blackout with a Russian arms dealer, or with Norman Mailer and a couple of hookers in a Paris hotel."
Search AARP Blogs