There are a variety of drugs abused by seniors within the United States. Unfortunately, many of these addictions start with a prescription. Millions of senior adults in the country are addicted to and dependent on opioids. This age group is part of the ongoing opioid epidemic sweeping the nation. This involves drugs such as oxycodone and hydrocodone. Yet, opioids are just one drug problem that senior adults struggle with. According to a National Survey on Drug Use and Health close to five million adults 50 years old and older had used illicit drugs in the past year. These illicit drugs are often mixed with alcohol, and this is a dangerous combination for any older adult. In 2013 national survey data revealed Americans over the age of 60 were drinking more than they were 20 years ago. This was especially true among older women.
There were patterns of high-risk drinking being seen, such as binge drinking. Which takes a bigger toll on the body as it gets older. When the body becomes older, it does not metabolize alcohol as well, and the ethanol lingers in the body much longer. Marijuana is also commonly abused among senior adults. Whether this is legally, illegally, of for medical reasons, alcohol and marijuana are in the top three. Prescription drugs such as opioids, sedatives, depressants, stimulants, and even tranquilizers are abused by senior adults. Most of these problems start with the on-going prescription of these drugs. Many older adults cycle through countless medications in their later years. Unfortunately, they are always at risk of becoming addicted to or dependent upon these drugs.