You probably think a typical pot smoker looks like this – a male in his 20s sitting on a couch in the basement of his parents’ home wearing a grungy tee shirt. He’s probably unemployed, and he probably has no motivation to do anything but watch reruns of Law & Order: SVU.
Or maybe you envision a teenager hanging out with friends and smoking a joint outside of a party, or a college student smoking at a frat party. Those are the usual suspects when it comes to who is using marijuana, but things have changed over the years. Teens and undergrads aren’t the only ones getting high these days. These findings are pretty surprising. For alcohol and drug treatment in Raleigh NC that you can trust, be sure to call Legacy Freedom. We help families from all walks of life.
Who's Smoking Weed These Days?
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recently released a report analyzing marijuana users in the U.S. What they found may shock you. Teens and college students aren’t the only ones using marijuana. Middle aged folks are more likely to use it compared to their teenage children.
The study surveyed people of all ages from 2002 to 2014 to see if pot use had increased or declined in various age groups.
The age groups starting at 35 all had significant increases in usage. Take a look at these surprising numbers:
- Adults ages 35-44 had a 43 percent increase
- Adults ages 45-54 had a 48 percent increase
- Adults ages 55-64 had a 455 percent increase
That is not a mistake. Adults 55-64 increased 455 percent! It looks like ages 55-64 are well on their way to being the age group that uses marijuana the most – not the younger adults that you might expect. In addition, marijuana use is up 333 percent since 2002 for adults over 65. Seniors seem to have no problem with pot these days.
One reason for this increase is the increasing age of the baby boomer generation. They’re more open to turning to marijuana when it comes to treating ailments that come along with age. Arthritis, insomnia, and other aches and pains can be eased with marijuana. And since marijuana is being legalized in more states for medical use, it’s no longer considered taboo.
People view it as less of a “gateway drug” than they have in the past. A 2013 survey from the Pew Research Center that talked to 1501 adults found that only 38 percent of people believed marijuana use could lead to using other hard drugs. Back in 1977, 60 percent of people had those beliefs.
Another theory of the increase in pot use by older adults is that baby boomers are getting their hands on medical marijuana so they can relive their youth. Many were children of the 1960s, so they may have tried many of the drugs that were passed around. When they got older and took on responsibilities such as jobs and families, they more than likely gave up those “free thinking” tendencies. Fast forward 40 years and marijuana is available legally, so they may feel nostalgic for their youth and may want to try it again.
Do you feel your marijuana use is causing problems in other areas of your life? Give us a call at Legacy in Raleigh so you can talk with an admissions counselor. We have many different options for drug treatment in Raleigh NC to accommodate the needs of our patients. We can help you with a plan that works for you. Call us today.
Another factor may be that many of the boomer generation are starting to retire and may not have anything else to do. Their kids are probably out of the house, and they don’t have to get up and go to work every day, so they feel more comfortable with using marijuana recreationally. They are at a stage in their lives where they don’t have to report to anyone or set an example for anyone.
In fact, the survey by Pew Research Center shows that the baby boomer generation supported legalization back in the late 1960s and 70s, but when they did settle down because of careers and marriage their interest and support waned.
In 1978, 47 percent supported legalizing marijuana. However, in the 1980s, support decreased, and by 1990 only 17 percent supported legalization. After 1994, it began to increase again, and by 2012, 50 percent of baby boomers thought it should be legalized.
Marijuana companies in states where it’s legal are using it to their advantage by targeting this group in their marketing campaigns, explaining what strains to get and showcasing the new ways to get high, including using a vape pen or with edibles. Users aren’t limited to smoking joints or hitting a pipe. They can get high from a pen that emits the drug without smoke, or eat a lollipop containing THC, the primary ingredient in marijuana. If you have a pot addiction, call Legacy Freedom for alternative drug treatment in Raleigh NC .
Even though there has been an increase in use among adults, use among the younger generation has decreased. There was a 10 percent decrease among 12-17 year-olds. Researchers believe the reason for the decrease could be the success of campaigns that let kids know about the dangers of marijuana. Although medical marijuana is beneficial to many suffering from chronic pain and other health issues, it can have negative effects on a developing adolescent brain. Studies have shown that long-term marijuana use can cause memory loss.
As marijuana use becomes more prevalent, accepted and legal, it is still important for kids and teens to know the dangers of using it. Education for both teens and adults is important in ensuring that it is not being used in a way that can be harmful.
Legacy Freedom - Outpatient Alcohol and Drug Treatment in Raleigh NC
Do you have questions about the different types of addiction? Call Legacy Freedom Treatment Center today to get the answers you need about our alcohol and drug treatment in Raleigh NC. An admissions counselor is waiting to talk with you about substance abuse and recovery. We offer outpatient programs designed to let you continue to work and meet family obligations. Call us today to discuss the many treatment options we offer. We have alternative therapies not found in other facilities that allow us to offer you an individualized program. Call our Raleigh rehab center to get started.