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Resources to Prevent Substance Use and Support Recovery

There are clear steps we can all take to reduce the impact of substance use and decrease the risks of overdoses. Access free resources in our updated digital toolkit.

Keep Older Adults Safe from the Risks of Overdose

Older adults face unique risks when it comes to prescription medication. Whether you're an older adult yourself, a caregiver, or simply have older family members, you can take action to decrease the risks.

Many people need to take multiple medications as they get older. This creates many possible ways to mix up medications or doses. Also, other substances like alcohol can interact with prescription medications. Even over-the-counter vitamins can pose a risk.

 Older Adult Infographic Medication Tracking Sheet

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The Risks of Overdose Affect Everyone

  • 7-10% increase in risk for an adverse drug event (ADE) with each medication you take
  • 34.5% of adults aged 60-79 used at least 5 prescription drugs in the past 30 days
  • 750 older adults hospitalized each day due to side effects from one or more medications
  • 150,000 estimated premature deaths in the next 10 years from ADEs
  1. Lown Institute, Eliminating Medication Overload: A National Action Plan, 2020
  2. Hales CM, Servais J, Martin CB, Kohen D. Prescription drug use among adults aged 40–79 in the United States and Canada. NCHS Data Brief, no 347. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2019.

Unique Risks that Older Adults Face

Older adults face unique challenges that raise their risks for overdose. Caregivers, loved ones, and health care professionals can help manage these risks.

  • Cognitive issues that can make it harder to keep track of details
  • Multiple chronic conditions that require multiple medications
  • Older adults' bodies process medications differently and often slower
  1. Teeters, J.B., Lancaster, C.L., Brown, D.G., & Back, S.E. (2017). Substance use disorders in military veterans: prevalence and treatment challenges. Substance Abuse and Rehabilitation. 8, 69-77. doi:10.2147/SAR.S116720.
  2. National Institute on Aging, 2021

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Change the Script PSA

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Evidence-Based Resources from Trusted Sources

In addition to the Change the Script toolkit materials, use these trusted sources to find more information on prevention and recovery.

  • Free Materials

    Order pamphlets, posters, flyers, medication disposal pouches, and more.

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  • Digital Toolkit

    Download customizable social media graphics, flyers, billboards, videos, and other materials.

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