Prescription Drug Abuse: Older Adults
National Institute on Drug Abuse, 2014
Persons aged 65 years and older comprise only 13 percent of the population, yet account for more than one-third of total outpatient spending on prescription medications in the United States. Older patients are more likely to be prescribed long-term and multiple prescriptions, and some experience cognitive decline, which could lead to improper use of medications. Alternatively, those on a fixed income may abuse another person’s remaining medication to save money.
In the event of a mental health or substance use crisis, call to connect with a licensed counselor, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Bilingual support and medications to assist with recovery are available.