NIH Reports Increase In Older Americans Abusing Prescription Medications, Illegal Drugs.

The Mobile (AL) Press-Register (6/8, Andrews) reports, “A new national survey reveals the number of 50- to 59-year-olds reporting 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 percent, according to a new study from the National Institutes of Health. Among those 65 and older, 414,000 used illicit drugs in 2010, health data showed.” Nora Volkow, MD, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, said, “Abusing these substances can worsen age-related health conditions, cause injuries and lead to addiction.”

NBC Nightly News (6/7, story 6, 2:15, Williams) reported, “Every few years the Centers for Disease Control surveys this nation’s high school students about some of the risks they take on a regular basis, the kind of things parents suspect and fear the most.” On Thursday, the CDC released the results from its 2011 Youth Risk Behavior Survey. The CDC’s Howell Wechsler CDC said, “It’s frustrating that while we’re making great progress in increasing seat belt use and reducing the number of kids who are driving while drinking, other safety issues pop up in their place, related to new technology.”

According to the Los Angeles Times (6/8, Healy) “Booster Shots” blog, the report indicates that “only 8% of American high-schoolers own up to never wearing a seat belt — down from 26% in 1991. In the 30 days preceding their response to government survey-takers, 24% had gotten into the car with a driver who’d been drinking, and that’s down from 40% who had done so when asked in 1991.”

However, the AP (6/8, Subscription Publication) reports, “In the survey, about 58 percent of high school seniors said they had texted or emailed while driving during the previous month. About 43 percent of high school juniors said they had done so.”

Related Links:

— “New study: Prescription and illicit drug abuse rises among 50- to 59-year-olds,”Casandra Andrews,, June 7, 2012.

Posted in In The News.