11 September 2008



Whoever chose the headline that says Boomers are the biggest druggies misinterpreted the data given in the article linked above. Those data show clearly that 9.5 % of 12 to 17-year-olds reported using illicit drugs in the previous month (although, happily, the rates have been dropping), while only 4.1 % of 55 to 59-year-olds reported this activity.

Second, in the older cohort, out of the five years, two show declines, while the last year--2007--shows a large percentage increase. This says to me that the data are not very reliable, unless the researchers are able to explain the variation appearing in such a short time.

Third, is a 4.1% use-rate among the older age cohort--about 1 person in 25--such a large use-rate? If the trend towards a quickly rising use-rate is true, then perhaps there is a growing problem.

Disclaimer: I do NOT use any illicit drugs whatsoever, and very nearly no legal ones (exception is caffeine, but no alcohol. I'm about as clean as you will find.)

I wonder how the researchers speculate as to the reasons for increased illicit drug use among Boomers? Retirees puttering around the yard high for close connection to nature? Aches and pains of increasing (old) age leading to anti-pain self-medication? Attempting to re-create pleasant and nostalgic memories of earlier halcyon days of past hippiedom (my case entirely!)? Assessment of current disgusting state of public discourse leading toward search for an anodyne to assuage present Weltschmerz (count me in the category, too!)?

What I'm saying is that the actual state of the world sucks (this is a post-Boomer term that evidently means something is definitely NOT groovy!), compared to an idealized state. So, some Boomers decide to blow cannabis smoke rings while daydreaming of Middle Earth. So?

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