Older Americans and Prescription Drug Abuse

New research is sounding the alarm about prescription painkiller abuse among older Americans. The research, which was presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry (AAAP), reports that roughly 20% of Americans over age 65 take analgesic medication for chronic pain several times per week. Among that group, the rate of prescription drug abuse or addiction is 18%.

There are currently 38 million adults over age 65 represent in the U.S, representing 13% of the total population. One third of all prescriptions are written for this group. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA), 2.8 million seniors abuse prescription drugs. By 2020, seniors will represent 20% of the population and SAMHSA estimates that 4.4 million will abuse drugs.

Many experts believe that aging Baby Boomers are more likely than their parents to …

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Signs that Your Spouse or Partner is Abusing Prescription Drugs

If your spouse or partner has begun to seem like a stranger and you know that they’ve been taking prescription drugs, they may be struggling with drug dependency. Many people who don’t fit the stereotype of a typical drug addict—responsible people with good jobs and loving family and friends—are becoming dependent on painkillers like Vicodin and OxyContin or anti-anxiety medications like Xanax and Valium. In most cases, they begin taking prescription drugs for legitimate medical reasons including back injuries, car accidents, arthritis, depression or trauma. They unsuspectingly then develop a physical dependence.

 

A Medical System that Has Inevitable Addiction Consequences
With prescription drug abuse at epidemic levels across the nation, many educated people with successful lives are becoming addicted to opiate drugs prescribed for pain and benzodiazepines prescribed for anxiety. These medications are often prescribed by physicians who don’t…
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