Society erroneously assumes prescription medication is only abused by the younger generations. Studies show, however, prescription drug abuse plagues men and women of all ages, including the elderly.
According to an article in the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “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.” The article goes on to suggest that there are several ways in which an elderly person can abuse prescribed medication, such as:
Awareness is everyone’s responsibility, so be vigilant. There are cues that family, friends, and caregivers can recognize in order to intervene and get help as early as possible.
What should we be looking for?
– Frequently talking about medicine
– A fear of running out or not having enough medication
– Taking a defensive stance after you ask about the medication
– Taking more than the prescribed amount or taking more often than prescribed
– Hiding or hoarding pills
If you suspect a loved one is abusing prescription medication, take action and talk to someone about it. A good first step is to contact the doctor prescribing the medication. He or she can help verify and/or validate your concerns, allowing you to take further action, if necessary.
If you suspect that a friend, family member, or loved one has been the victim of elder abuse, contact an experienced California elder abuse lawyer to help evaluate your case and advise you how to proceed. Elder abuse attorney Christopher Walton has years of experience providing caring, compassionate representation to victims of elder abuse and their families. Call (866) 338-7079 for a confidential consultation.