As the psychedelic warriors of the 60s and 70s continue to age, it should come as no surprise that these shifting demographics mean that older adults are now more likely to have used drugs in the past, and to continue to do so.
A new study of over 50s in Britain looked at past and present drug use amongst those aged 50-64, and the 65+ crowd. Unsurprisingly, the former did — and still do — far more drugs than the latter, as much as tenfold more.
When polled on if they've ever used cannabis, the positive response for the 65+ bracket was just 1.7%, and 11.4% for the 50-64 crew. However, when narrowed down to the metropolis of inner London, those numbers jumped to 9.4% and 42.8% respectively. As for cannabis use in the last 12 months, nationwide the percentages were 0.4% and 1.8%, and in London 1.1% and 9%. Between surveys run in 1993 and those in 2007, lifetime use of cannabis had jumped from 1% to 11.4%.
This confirms what many already guessed — generation with socially acceptable drug use is getting older. For many illicit substances, it's not clear what long term side effects there might be. But we're about to find out.