Prescription drug abuse among older adults

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Misuse of prescription opioids, CNS depressants, and stimulants is a serious public health problem in the United States. Although most people take prescription medications responsibly, inan estimated 18 million people more than 6 percent of those aged 12 and older have misused such medications at least once in the past year. Additionally, more than one million misused prescription stimulants, 1.

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Friedman Aging Well Vol. Surprising numbers of older adults struggle with drug and alcohol issues. Would you know the warning signs specific to this demographic?

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Substance abuse is a growing, but mostly silent, epidemic among older adults. We sought to analyze the trends in admissions for substance abuse treatment among older adults aged 55 and older. The trends in admission for primary substances, demographic attributes, characteristics of substance abused and type of admission were analyzed.

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Call Now. Treatment Center Locator. Substance abuse among the elderly adults over the age of 60particularly of alcohol and prescription drugs, is one of the fastest growing health problems in the United States. Addiction among people 65 and up is often underestimated and under-diagnosed, which can prevent them from getting the help they need.

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Drug addiction is not restricted to the young. Donna Weber, now 53, turned to painkillers after undergoing simple surgery. Then a long, tortured path to divorce made her anxious and depressed.

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Drug abuse affects people from all walks of life. But when you hear about drug abuse, you tend to think of teens or young adults, not older adults. Unfortunately, drug abuse in older adults is also a serious problem.

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Louis, Missouri. Disclosures The authors report no financial relationships with any company whose products are mentioned in this article or with manufacturers of competing products. Baby Boomers—a term used to refer to individuals born in the United States between and —are now approaching old age.

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Margaret Mattson, Ph. D, Rachel N. Lipari, Ph.

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Prescription drug abuse is when people misuse prescribed medicines. They may abuse their own medicine in a way that is not instructed by the doctor. Or they may abuse a prescription that is meant for someone else.

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As we get older, our bodies begin to react differently to alcohol and medications than when we were younger. Many older people take many different medications, which may not mix well with each other or with alcoholic drinks. If older adults do not adjust for these changes in their bodies and do not use medications safely, they may experience problems with substance misuse without even knowing it.

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