Is Woodstock Catching Up to Baby Boomers
Based on a Congressional report entitled, The Mental Health and Substance Use Workforce for Older Adults: In Whose Hands?, the United States faces a huge increase in the number of aging baby boomers with mental health or substance use issues. The report indicates that this increase may be so great that it could overwhelm our existing health care system.
Approximately 20% of the current aging senior population suffers from various mental health conditions, at-risk drinking, or dementia-related psychiatric symptoms (Alzheimer's disease excluded). Now, factor in the problem that the number of health insurance and other service providers is shrinking in proportion. Studies also indicate that as baby boomers age, their drug use will continue. The report offers several recommendations in dealing with this looming problem, but firmly suggests that an overhaul of the entire health care system is needed.