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Prescription Drug Addiction Rises Among Elderly—Novus Medical Detox Calls for Rx Drug Education
Date:11/18/2013

New Port Richey, FL (PRWEB) November 18, 2013

What typically starts with a visit to the doctor for medication to dull pain from arthritis or other aches and pains is now ending with addiction—one of the largest-growing populations of drug-addicted individuals is senior citizens, largely due to prescribed pain medications for common ailments (1).Novus Medical Detox, one of the only Florida-based detox centers serving high-dosage drug abuse patients, says the rising tide of drug addiction among the middle-aged and elderly evidences the strong hold of prescription drugs on American society—but this grip can be loosened by public education on the addictive qualities of drugs.

Data from national surveys show that among those 65 and older, 414,000 used illicit drugs in 2010. Research also reveals a trend for 50- to 59-year-olds: the number of those reporting past-month abuse of illicit drugs—including the non-medical use of prescription drugs—more than doubled from 2002 to 2010, going from 907,000 to 2,375,000, or from 2.7% to 5.8%, in this population (2).

Kent Runyon, Novus Executive Director, says the facility treats a considerable number of elderly patients—at least one-third of Novus’ patient base consists of the middle-aged and/or elderly. And according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) at the National Institutes of Health, the number of older substance abusers could continue to rise due to the aging of the baby boomers, who were more likely than previous generations to have used illicit drugs in their youth (3).

“A common misconception is that substance abuse only affects younger generations,” said Runyon. “But the reality is that many older adults are becoming addicted to the medications they are being prescribed—and abus
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