The contents of this website provides general information, is not advice and should not be treated as such.  Do not rely on the information on this website as an alternative to legal advice from an attorney and, if you have any specific questions about any legal matter, you should consult your attorney.

Are Your Clients at Risk of Losing it All to Addiction?

Nothing blows through money like addiction.

Whether your clients are suffering with hidden substance abuse problems or are a caretaker for a person with an addiction, it is a real financial concern.

The accidental drug overdose rate for middle aged adults is higher than that of 25-44 year olds for the very first time, according to a recent Wall Street Journal article. In fact, the percentage of people who reported drug use in their older years is triple that of the previous generation.

In 2013, more than 12,000 aging baby boomers died of accidental drug overdoses, which is higher than the number who died from car accidents, pneumonia, or flu that year, the WSJ reported. The rate of accidental drug overdose in people ages 45-64 is higher than in any other age bracket, and over twice that of young adults ages 15-24.

An addict may spend the money themselves, or their loved ones may be forced to pay for expensive treatment programs or emergency medical care due to an accidental overdose. There may even be legal trouble, such as an arrest on drug possession or driving under the influence charges.

Causes for addiction

Experts say that because the boomer generation was more likely to have experimented with drug use in their past, when doctors prescribe opioid painkillers like Vicodin or antianxiety medications, those older adults are much more susceptible to abusing those medications. Because their bodies are no longer as capable of metabolizing these drugs, the side effects can be much worse than for people who are younger.

More than 5.7 million people over 50 will need substance-abuse treatment by 2020, the WSJ reported. Not all of these aging adults will be successful in overcoming their addiction problems. They stand on the brink of losing income, health, and family.

With more people living longer, there is an increasing number of age related injury or pain management issues facing the general population, and the issue of prescription drug addiction is bound to become more prevalent.

What does this mean for your clients?

Talk to your clients about the potential for this to happen to them. Many may not have considered addiction as a potential threat to the financial stability of themselves or of loved ones in their care.

As both a marketing effort and an outreach to show your concern, you might want to consider hosting a workshop on this topic with a local substance abuse counselor to talk about warning signs and how to help a senior at risk of losing their financial security due to addiction.

We hope this information was useful to you and helps your clients and their families. If you have a specific case or a question, don’t hesitate to call our office.