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Oscar winner Tatum O'Neal says she is grateful that new York city police busted her buying cocaine and crack -- saying that the arrest.
Saved her life.
And kept her sober -- -- 44 years old but you know what people lot older than she is.
Are still doing drugs a new study showing that basically grandma and grandpa.
Are still smoking pot.
Doctor -- -- Dowling is the deputy chief science policy at the national institute on drug abuse and joins us now thanks for being with us.
Thinking -- got -- a lot of young people I think think you know so I smoke some pot what's gonna deal.
Well these studies non -- show you that it makes you stupid.
I even dumber on video had to -- to -- it but also there are changes that occur in people as they change.
And their bodies aren't keeping up with their drug use with their wild -- What's happening in the emergency rooms and with these people as they age.
Well what we're seeing is as we expected that as a baby boomer generation.
Is getting older we're seeing more people.
End and their fifties and sixties abuse saying.
Bad drugs illicit drugs.
More so than previous generations and that's reflected in national surveys as well as emergency department mentions where.
We're seeing increases in mentions of cocaine abuse among people in their fifties as well as amphetamine.
Now I it I assume.
That these folks they go well -- yes smoke this much pot when I was 25 I can still keep doing that now that I'm 55.
But there is something I guess that the emergency room doctors say that -- that basically as you age your body.
Can't keep up with -- what changes.
Well there -- a lot of changes that go on as the age there are changes in the brain that we know that there are changes that happen in the brain.
With aging that affect the -- insistence that drugs of abuse -- so.
The question is is whether it changes that occur with aging are gonna be compounded by drug abuse has people -- there.
And the research still hasn't quite address that question but the concern arises.
We also know that -- drugs of abuse caused cardiovascular problems kidney disease.
And these are diseases that are more common as people age.
So that potential interaction between drugs of abuse in these diseases as well as the medications people take for those diseases but also cause complications so.
And doing the drugs is bad enough when you're young but it really it becomes even more life threatening than as you age.
IS also when -- -- the doctor.
And this -- you know can I go in the doctor says in do you do you smoke do you drink I do you do drugs.
And I assume -- -- They don't they don't ask then those same questions and so they may not have an idea really how prevalent the problem is is that accurate.
Well that is one of the concerns.
They're recently shown that once in -- -- Older adults can do just as well as young adults in drug abuse treatment but that main barrier seems to be.
Diagnosing people as having substance abuse problems and one part of that.
Could it affect the doctors different asking the question okay.
Thank you very much doctor -- it down.
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