The Elderly and Prescription Drug Misuse and Abuse

The Elderly and Prescription Drug Misuse and Abuse

Some factors to consider when examining the issue of elderly prescription drug misuse include:

• The elderly are more likely to be prescribed several different medications at once and for a prolonged duration of time.

• Social factors, such as limited English language proficiency, and low health literacy impede adherence.

• Screening for drug abuse in the elderly can be complicated. Symptoms can be masked by normal or perceived signs of aging, the elderly may deny symptoms of abuse, and may be unaware of their misuse.

• The elderly do not fit the typical drug abuser profile or stereotype and therefore awareness and services for this population are lacking.



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