Prescription and Illicit Drug Abuse

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is addiction?
  2. How does a person become addicted?
  3. What is the difference between physical dependence and addiction?
  4. How is addiction to illicit drugs different from addiction to prescription medication?
  5. Can older people abuse prescription medications without meaning to?
  6. How does intentional abuse of prescription medications occur?
  7. What can happen if older adults don’t take their medications as prescribed?
  8. What are warning signs of medication abuse?
  9. Which types of prescription medications do older adults abuse the most?
  10. Will improper use of medications or use of illicit drugs affect me differently because I am older?
  11. If I use prescription medications the wrong way, how could that affect my health?
  12. Is it safe to take a friend’s prescription if we share the same medical condition?
  13. This new medicine I’m taking isn’t working. Can I just take more of it?
  14. How can I avoid misusing, abusing, or becoming addicted to prescription medications?
  15. Is there a problem with illicit (illegal) drug use among older adults?
  16. What is the most commonly abused drug among older adults?
  17. What effect can marijuana have on my health?
  18. Is it legal to take marijuana to treat certain health conditions?
  19. What other illicit drugs might affect older adults?
  20. How can using illicit drugs affect my health?
  21. How can an older person avoid abusing or becoming addicted to illicit drugs?
  22. Is it easy to recognize signs of substance abuse in an older person?
  23. How is substance abuse treated?
  24. Where can people get treatment?
  25. What is usually the first step in treatment?
  26. How are medications used in treatment?
  27. What types of behavioral treatments are available?
  28. I’d really rather get substance abuse counseling with other older people. How can I do that?
  29. What if someone gets out of treatment and starts using drugs again -- what should you do?

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