What age groups are at risk of prescription drug abuse?

Howard J. Shaffer, PhD
Addiction Medicine
Various surveys show that young adults (ages 18 to 25) reported the highest rate and largest increase in prescription drug abuse for each of three use timeframes: the past month, the past year, and during their lifetime. Adults over age 50 also are misusing prescription drugs in record numbers. Although this older demographic constitutes just 13% of the population, they take about one-third of all medications prescribed in the United States, making them more prone to potential prescription drug abuse.

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