The baby boomers are the largest generation ever to move through our society. Born following world-war two, the baby boomers are trend setters in a lot of regards. The historical perspective of the 1960s, the 1970s and the 1980s are all thanks to the baby boomers, and at each stage of development this generation has found a new form of drug to supplement the values of their time.
Marijuana was the drug-of-choice to compliment the laissez-faire attitude of the 1960s. In the business-driven eighties, cocaine was more suitable. As the baby boomers have grown, so has their use of drugs. Currently reaching retirement age, many of this generation turn to opioids for an escape.
In other words, as the developmental task of the baby boomers has changed, so did the most commonly used drugs.
Their appetite for drugs has never remained permanently fixed on one specific chemical; but they had internalized a quick-fix mentality—a belief that some kind of mood-changing substance can do for them what they are incapable of doing for themselves.
Operating from this mentality has made it difficult for many baby boomers to confront the responsibilities and challenges of middle age and retirement, including hardships like relationships, careers, aging and investments. Facing these realities has been more difficult for many baby boomers than they ever expected, especially against the background of their intoxicating youth.
This sort of dissatisfaction and challenge in life leads many of the baby boomer generation to continue using and abusing drugs and alcohol. Treatment for addiction among members of this generation usually involves re-teaching healthy coping behaviors and re-framing the concept of instant gratification—or to put it more simply, debunking the “quick-fix” mentality.
All of this contributes as to why those in the baby boomer generation are statistically most likely to develop an addiction. Alcoholism and drug abuse are profound problems among those of this age group, and continue to be problematic for younger generations who have grown up watching the baby boomers putting emphasis on fun, euphoria and excitement without the hard work it takes to get there.