Harris B Stratyner Ph.D., CASAC

Recovery For Life

Are Baby Boomers Paying A Price?

Are Baby Boomers Paying A Price for Our 60s Lifestyle?

Posted Apr 07, 2010

In the name of full disclosure, I must admit that I am a baby boomer. The broadest definition includes those born between the years 1946 to 1964; although, many individuals simply think of a birth date in the 50's.

I wonder if we baby boomers are paying a price for the carefree lifestyle we enjoyed beginning in the Eisenhower years - culminating with the tumultuous love fest during the 60's? Things were so carefree back then. We went from "Leave it to Beaver," to "make love not war" in one great swoop!

Drugs like marijuana were consumed in great quantities, as well as hallucinogenics like LSD. We were all into expanding our minds - trying to take ourselves to a "higher plane" through "better chemistry."

Perhaps the lurking fear of the cold war spurred us on or the reality of Vietnam made us want to escape. Perhaps, we were not so carefree after all?

In any case, drug use back them seemed to be about mind-expansion rather than self-medicating as we see today. Are baby boomers paying a price for our exponential industrial revolution which perhaps led to the technical revolution and need to press our children to be bigger and better, faster and more adept?

Today, we see mere youngsters who have no need to go "around the world in 80 days," but simply go online and they are wherever they want to be in a flash. We see teenagers consuming pain killers perhaps to kill their pain and fear in case they don't get into the college of their choice.

They often hear their parents looking to connect with them by unfortunately discussing their past drug use, but the zeitgeist is so different. In reality, drugs were never good nor safe. Not back then and now now.

What I am talking about here is the impetus for their use and the shift in why they are used. Some young people still want to get high. But please don't miss out on the fact that many are also scared of the pressures of life. Events like September 11th may seem a tad closer to home than the Vietnam War - for those of us who didn't participate and only received news thousands of miles away via television!

Speaking of which - stay tuned for an upcoming blog about young people who are fighting our wars and the relationship between PTSD and substance abuse.

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