I was watching my local evening news tonight, while eating dinner, when they aired an alarming story in regard to “Baby Boomers”. While alcohol is the most popular addiction for our age group, prescription drug dependence has spiked dramatically: The older we get, the easier it becomes to get a doctor to prescribe medication for aches and pains. With retirement, there are fewer consequences to suffer, as there is not a workplace to hold one accountable for being under the influence. According to the newscast, “Experts predict the number of 50-plus addicts could double in the next eight years.”
My mom is in her 80’s and needs a pill to sleep and an anti-depressant to function. She was prescribed a pain pill when she fractured her rib, which has long since healed, but insists she still needs the pill for residual pain. Mom is definitely an addict and when I have brought up my concerns about this to her physician, he brushes it off.
When I spoke to a close relative about the situation, his response was “If she’s happy, why worry?” Do I need to? And what about the anti-depressant I take because my doctor prescribed it to help me deal with the constant stress of being a caregiver? WHO else out there can relate? Written by Claire in Seattle