According to a study commissioned by the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, a total of 8 percent of Americans between the ages of 50 and 59 have used a controlled substance or a prescription drug recreationally within the last year.
The most commonly used substance was marijuana, which was closely followed by the abuse of prescription medications such as anti-anxiety drugs and sleeping pills.
Though substance abuse can lead to a host of health problems for retirement living seniors, researchers are also worried that drug-addicted baby boomers could put a huge strain on treatment programs, according to the Boston Globe.
"We are projecting that by the year 2020, we will probably have enough people in the 50-to-59 age group needing [substance abuse] treatment that we will probably need to double the number of treatment facilities," Peter Delany, the substance abuse agency's director of the Office of Applied Studies, told the news source.
The National Institute of Health reports that marijuana is the most commonly used illegal drug in the U.S., and that abuse can lead to problems with memory, learning and social behaviors.