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Boomin Baby Boomers


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Hey Guys,

The new topic of the day is more disturbing then usual! I have been reading multiple articles suggesting we may be having to deal with drug use at our facilities as the Babby Boomers began moving in. According to the 2005 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, drug use in age 50 -59 has increased 63% in the last few years. 70% of which is being accredited to marijuana. Are we really going to have to start programs and rehabs for this? I guess it was only a matter of time before this became an issue for us. I guess I just never thought about it until reading these articles. Any thoughts?

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Guest Guest_ErinE

We have seen definitely drug addictions to precription medications as well as alchohol addictions. We get our residents to AA, have counselors come in to see them, and plan programming around this DX. We certainly see the range of needs in this profession.

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Guest Mariam

To tell you the truth, this is going to sound very irresponsible on my part, but I really think that they have the right to do as they please. They're adults. We repremand children because we want them to grow up to be responsible and mature contributors to society. However, with these seniors, they have already done their part.. why shouldn't they enjoy life? They've earned the right to do so :lol: .

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Mariam, with all due respect, I disagree. We're not talking about residents & their right to have a few beers or a shot of whiskey. I think we all will agree that with a dr.'s order, this is certainly their choice. Illegal drugs used in a nursing home are another matter. I have had a few residents in the last few years who have had dx. & complications from drug &/or alchohol abuse & we arrange transportation to AA meetings, but haven't had to deal with actual abuse on the premises. Yikes! Something else to deal with in LTC!

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Guest Guest_Cheryl

Dear Guest,

Listed below are some of the articles pertaing to the new drug use trend. I used The Washington Times as my primary reference for what I posted previously. It is crazy to me! It says teen drug use is going down and the elderly is going up! How backwards is that? I guess it is better for the young people to decrease negative activities, where they have more of an opportunity to hurt themselves or others. I kind of agree that they are old enough to make their own decisions. I am not recommending crack or anything, but maybe marijuana. It is afterall legal for medical purposes in 11 states currently. Perhaps they have earned the right to make that decision. It is weird though!! What on earth would we do?!!! - Cheryl


The Washington Times


USA Today


Sci-Tech Today: Health

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Guest Guest

My take on this is- if it is illegal it is illegal!


The facility can not allow a resident to bring drugs onto the premises! I mean these are the same people who are not allowed to smoke in there rooms - or even without supervision.


I think that it would be a huge liability! I believe you are an adult and you do what you want but if it is illegal it can't be toleraded!


Just my thoughts!



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I have already been there and done that re: Drug use in the Nsg home.. We have a lot of VA residents in and out, young folks, and plenty of the babyboomers..

Vietnam vets.. their buddies visiting, you can imagine.. NO! absolutely not! any illegal drug use of any kind is not allowed on property..

Now I'm assuming that we are just talking about recreational drug use. And these are grown adults, able to make their own choices/decisions. No matter if they are the correct decision or not, they are still free to choose.

Sure we know "Charlie" just went off with his buddies to burn a couple joints. As long as it is not on our propetry, he signs himself out, he can do whatever he wants to do. He's his own man. We can discourage this behavior, but I'll be dammed if I will condem it. None of us are perfect, and we all make poor decisions in life.

Now if his extra-curricular activities become a problem, affecting his health/recovery, drinking where he coming back drunk, serious drug use like with crack or some other addicting substance this is a case for social services and psyc services to assist with helping this resident. AA/NA etc. as others have stated. It becomes much more serious than just a case of simple recreational drug use.

I've seen it all, residents going to the corner store and sneaking in a bottle of wine/beer, freinds/family bringing residents back plastered,(never again) a bag of pot falling out of a residents wheelchair as they come in the door.. (took it and gave it to his brother with a stern warning). Hell 10 years ago, I was working at a facility where we knew this one vet was smoking weed in his room, he was bedbound at the time, unable to get up, was the only one allowed to smoke ciggs in his room. Well he smoked more than just ciggs... we just closed the door and turned a "deaf nose" to it all. Sprayed a little lysol and left him be. He fought for our country, wounded in vietnam, govt. giving him the shaft, stuck in a nursing home with 90% of the clientel 70 or older, no one was going to say he couldn't burn one occasionally. Eventually, we did have to tell him to quit, (state was due) and he was then was able to get up and out, his biker friends would come by, and off they would go, we knew what was happening, but hey, if it didn't compromise his health or recovery, LET HIM BE!

Now, again, I agree... there should be no illegal activity allowed on your facilities property. Especially in this litigious society that we now live in. Yes illegal in illegal, but what goes on in their personal life, off on their own, should stay there.

Each case is unique. And we have to treat each one individually as it comes by. But as we enter this era of more and more our baby-boomers coming to our facility who were once very tolerent of recreational drug use, "bringing their baggage" as the article said, we must be just as tolerent in letting them make their own choices, and making the space to help them store that baggage.



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