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Chronic Disease & Injury

Prescription Drug Related Mortality

Medications play critical roles in older people's lives. While medications can prolong life, help manage chronic disease, and improve quality of life, the older adults are cautioned about the naturally slower metabolism, decreased absorption of medicines and drug-drug effects. As older adults age, their chronic conditions frequently increase. This can lead to their consumption of multiple medications—a practice that can have serious, even life-threatening, health consequences.

As the older adult cohort increases rapidly in Arizona, promoting healthy lifestyles is critical, to prevent or manage the many acute and chronic medical and mental health problems influenced by lifestyle choices. In the past, older adults were much less likely than younger adults to use illicit drugs, but still likely to use alcohol. Now, the use, misues and abuse of psychoactive prescription medications (example: pain medications, sleeping pills) has increased, and it’s a more challenging issue to identify than alcohol misuse.

Non-medical use of prescription drugs is now the nation's second leading cause of accidental death. Recent trends and data.


Risk Factors:

Prevention of Prescription Drug Related Mortality: