Prescription Drugs & Alcohol Don't Mix
SAMHSA and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently
released public education materials to alert older Americans about
the dangers of mixing certain prescription drugs or prescription
medications with alcohol, and to highlight the need for vigilance
and monitoring of prescription intake by older adults.
percent of adults age 55 or older who are admitted for treatment
abuse prescription narcotic medications, according to SAMHSA data.
The As You Age
education materials aim to draw attention to the need to manage
prescription medication intake, as well as the dangers of mixing
some medications with alcohol.
The materials include a series of print ads, radio and television
public service announcements, a brochure, and a Web site featuring
all these resources available for download.
In addition, SAMHSA and the FDA have published a brochure, also
titled As You Age,
which provides a medication checklist to help older adults keep
track of medication types, dose amount, and the proper intervals
to take their medication. This brochure also points to the dangers
of consuming alcohol with a medication that might have adverse effects
due to negative interactions. (For sample safety tips, see SAMHSA
News, Safety Tips on Medicines &
The materials were released at a joint press conference together
with the Administration on Aging during the May observance of Older
SAMHSA has also established a hotline for drug abuse treatment
referral. For help, call the SAMHSA substance abuse treatment 24-hour
helpline at 1 (800) 662-HELP or 1 (800) 662-4357. For the names
of treatment providers, visit SAMHSA's Web site at www.findtreatment.samhsa.gov.
To obtain materials, contact SAMHSA's National Clearinghouse for
Alcohol and Drug Information at P.O. Box 2345, Rockville, MD 20847-2345.
Telephone: 1 (800) 729-6686 (English and Spanish) or 1 (800) 487-4889
(TDD). On the Web, visit
Part 1: Older Adults: Improving Mental Health Services
Part 2: Older Adults: Improving Mental Health Services
See AlsoOlder AdultsRelated
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Mental Health for Older Americans
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