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Drug Abuse Up Among Those in Their 50s

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Between 2002 and 2005, the percentage of Americans ages 50 to 59 using illicit drugs increased from 5.1 percent to 9.4 percent, according to a federal government report released this week.

The increase occurred because some baby boomers -- those born between 1946 and 1964 -- continue to use drugs as they get older, said the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the Associated Press reported.

During that same five-year period, rates of illicit drug use among all other age groups remained the same or decreased, SAMHSA said.

The continued use of illicit drugs by aging baby boomers "is likely to put further strains on the nation's health care system," said Eric Broderick, the agency's acting administrator, the AP reported.

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