Like-Minded Individuals – 

January 9, 2020 – “Boomers have been seeking purpose their whole life,” says Brenda Iliff, executive director of the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation’s Naples, Fla., center, the only one of the organization’s 16 locations to have an older-adult treatment program. “There’s a lot more openness to getting outside help. There used to be only a very few seniors who would seek help. Their philosophy was that they had earned retirement and the time to enjoy life. But when you’re talking addiction, you’re not enjoying life.” Still, older adults tend to be more comfortable in peer-group settings.  “As boomers, we share more in common; our life problems are a lot different than people two or even one generation younger than us,” Heflin says. “All of our stories are very similar, with some more serious than others. I can relate to someone my age a lot more than with somebody my son’s age. At an AA [Alcoholics Anonymous] meeting with older people, there’s a lot of wisdom in that room. I talk to younger people, and they like to go to meetings and talk to people their age, too, often because of their experiences with opioids.”



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