Almost everyone is familiar with the campaign that runs through elementary, middle, and high schools every year proclaiming the evils of drugs in an effort to get children to steer clear from these vices. While there is still a significant amount of social pressure on parents to talk to their children about drugs and alcohol, children are not the only vulnerable age group. The aging baby-boomer population is actually using drugs and alcohol an increasing rate.
A recent study focused on Americans over the age of 50 regarding drug and alcohol use. About 15 percent of elderly Americans admitted to binge drinking on a monthly basis (or more often) and around 5 percent of elderly Americans admitted to using marijuana annually (or more often). Both of these numbers are up around 2-3 percent compared to 10 years ago. The study wasn’t limited to alcohol and marijuana and rates of abuse for prescription drugs and other illicit drugs have also been on the rise.
The reasons for rising drug and alcohol use among older Americans are unclear. But in light of this information, here are a few important ideas to keep in mind:
First of all, anyone charged with driving under the influence or drug crimes needs to hire an experienced attorney. It doesn’t matter what age the defendant is because the laws on most of these issues are the same.
Second, if you are older and facing criminal charges for the first time, you may be able to avoid or mitigate some criminal consequences through pretrial diversion or other prosecution alternatives. You should also seek a lawyer’s help if you wish to take advantage of these options.
Finally, elderly individuals often suffer from dementia and other mental illnesses that can impair their ability to make decisions. If you are the grown child of a parent facing criminal charges and you believe their actions are related to mental incapacity, you should contact an attorney to learn more about your loved one’s rights and legal options.