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HurtChronicles of the Drug War Generation$
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Miriam Boeri

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780520293465

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520293465.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 02 August 2021

Aging in Drug Use

Aging in Drug Use

(p.135) Seven Aging in Drug Use

Miriam Boeri

University of California Press

Because of the War on Drugs, the number of prisoners age fifty-five and older more than doubled every ten years, making them the fastest growing age group of the prison population. Formerly incarcerated older adults who spent years subjected to poor living conditions in prison increase Medicaid and Medicare costs after they are released. Many of them were reaching the age of retirement, but most would receive a minimum Social Security payment due to years of unemployment, and few were eligible for Supplemental Security Income or Social Security Disability Income. For those who lost family and friends over the years, through death, divorce, or rejection, their old age life was going to be hard. The accounts of aging drug users show that addiction was a debatable concept. Many believed that they had an addicted brain or that they had inherited addiction from their alcoholic parents. However, some baby boomer drug users learned to control their use through moderation or marijuana; others used methadone to help them control drug use legally as they aged.

Keywords:   aging, retirement, Social Security, Supplemental Security Income, Social Security Disability Income, Medicaid, Medicare, addiction

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