Prescription and Illicit Drug Abuse

Frequently Asked Questions

7. What can happen if older adults don’t take their medications as prescribed?

People who don’t take their medications as prescribed can become addicted to them and/or suffer from other health consequences—including not properly treating the condition for which the medicine was prescribed. Usually, older people take their medications responsibly, but sometimes they don’t take them as they should. Lately, there has been an increase in hospitalizations and emergency room visits for improper use of prescription medication among older people.