Older Adults: Rx Drug Misuse & Abuse Dangers

Older adults may suffer serious health consequences if they abuse prescription drugs, and instances of such abuse have increased, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). NIH reports that there has been an increase in the number of hospitalizations and emergency room visits by older adults due to improper use of prescription medications. Some people may accidentally take their medications incorrectly, while others are intentionally abusing them. Older adults are at higher risk for injury due to misuse or abuse of prescription medications because as the body ages, it cannot absorb and break down medications as easily. Other risks are explained on the “Prescription and Illicit Drug Abuse” page of the NIH Senior Health Web site. Related Video courtesy of NCPIE: Take Your Medicines Safely NIH Senior Health Web site.