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Posted by on May 9, 2008 in Substance abuse

Your Crack Grandpappy

Your Crack Grandpappy


A rise in the use of crack by older veterans was reported yesterday by South Carolina psychiatrist Diana Thorne at the ongoing annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association in Washington, DC. MedPage Today covered the presentation, in which Thorne reported data for 114 men and 3 women, all of whom are older than 50 years and addicted to the rock form of cocaine. She called the group, whose aging members may spend a 20-spot for a couple of rocks to smoke under the broadleaf trees in the southern state’s capital, “the old man’s crack club.”

Most of the addicts also abuse alcohol, still the number-one substance of abuse among her patient cohort; but Thorne has seen crack cocaine supplant marijuana as the second most-preferred drug among the veterans (most of whom served in Vietnam) during the last several years. For 17 of her patients, crack was a first-time experience after the age of 50.

Photo of crack pipe from iStockPhoto.

bmartin (1082 Posts)

A native East Tennessean, Barbara Martin is a formerly practicing, board-certified neurologist who received her BS (psychology, summa cum laude) and MD from Duke University before completing her postgraduate training (internship, residency, fellowship) at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. She has worked in academia, private practice, medical publishing, drug market research, and continuing medical education (CME). For the last 3 years, she has worked in a freelance capacity as a medical writer, analyst, and consultant. Follow Dr. Barbara Martin on and Twitter.