Listen to The Perfect Scam Podcast and Nominate It for a People’s Choice Podcast Award! Find Out More
by Olivia Dean, Public Policy Institute, August 1, 2017
Prescription Drug Abuse among Older Adults (PDF)
Prescription drug abuse is a major public health concern. However, few efforts to address the problem focus on older adults, whose unique characteristics may demand different or more nuanced solutions. This Insight on the Issues analyzes the prevalence of prescription drug misuse among older adults and examines age-related difference in the prevalence of misuse for various types of prescription drugs: painkillers, tranquilizers, stimulants, and sedatives.
We find that while prescription drug misuse is higher among younger ages, there are several challenges associated with defining and diagnosing prescription drug misuse and abuse in older adults. As a result, many older adults who misuse prescription drugs likely do not know and do not get treatment. The report discusses various implications and recommendations for policy and practice, including raising awareness among the general public and family caregivers about the potential for and consequences of prescription drug abuse among older adults.
Please leave your comment below.
You must be logged in to leave a comment.
Find the public policy institute content you are looking for by entering in search terms below.
Sign up for alerts on the latest research, events and videos on policy issues.
A State Scorecard on Long-Term Services and Supports for Older Adults, People with Physical Disabilities, and Family Caregivers
By 2030, one out of every five people in the United State will be 65-plus. Will your community be ready?
You are leaving AARP.org and going to the website of our trusted provider. The provider’s terms, conditions and policies apply. Please return to AARP.org to learn more about other benefits.
Your email address is now confirmed.
Manage your email preferences and tell us which topics interest you so that we can prioritize the information you receive.
Explore all that AARP has to offer.
In the next 24 hours, you will receive an email to confirm your subscription to receive emails
related to AARP volunteering. Once you confirm that subscription, you will regularly
receive communications related to AARP volunteering. In the meantime, please feel free
to search for ways to make a difference in your community at