Addiction 103 (3), 347–348.
Substance misuse is generally thought of as a problem of young people, but such problems have no age limits.
Prescription and over-the-counter drugs are used widely by older adults. About one-third of all prescribed drugs, often including benzodiazepines and opioid analgesics, are used by people aged over 65 years. Problematic use of prescribed drugs may involve inappropriate use such as ‘borrowing’ a medication from a friend or relative, occasional recreational use or persistent use and dependence. The misuse of prescribed or over-the-counter drugs may involve deliberately using higher than recommended doses, using for extended periods, hoarding medications and using medications together with alcohol.
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