Older adults and substance abuse

Older adults and substance abuse


MCELROY: Hello, I’m Ursel McElroy, director of the Ohio Department of Aging. CRISS: And I’m Lori Criss, director of the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services. MCELROY: October is National Substance Abuse Awareness Month. For a variety of reasons, older adults may be more likely to misuse some medications. CRISS: Body changes as we age can change how we process medications and put us at higher risk for addiction. MCELROY: Further, issues with vision, hearing, and brain function can affect our ability to hear and understand directions from our health care providers. CRISS: Medication misuse includes taking more or less of a medication than prescribed; taking a medication for a different reason than what is was prescribed for; or sharing or taking someone else’s medication. MCELROY: Misuse can lead to drug abuse or addiction. If you feel that a loved one may be misusing medications or exhibits signs of addiction, talk to their health care provider immediately. CRISS: For information about addiction services and referral to community supports, call the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services at 1-877-275-6364.

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