You don’t need to worry about prescription drug abuse in elderly patients...it’s very uncommon.

This isn’t true...as many as 11% of older adults abuse Rx drugs.

Rx drug abuse can be particularly devastating for older patients...sedation and confusion can lead to falls and accidents resulting in hospitalization and nursing home placement.

The problem can start with failing to identify the true cause of a symptom, leading to inappropriate prescribing. For example, a benzodiazepine (alprazolam, etc) given to an older patient who can’t sleep, when poorly managed pain is the real problem.

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