Drugs can help. Drugs can harm.
Prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) drugs are generally safe and effective. But consumers of all ages need to know more about the drugs they’re putting into their bodies. If incorrectly used or abused, “good” drugs can be harmful and sometimes even fatal.
Many older Americans confuse medications and dosages, or take someone else’s drugs and suffer drug interactions and injury. In recent years, serious adverse drug events have doubled, while fatal drug events have almost tripled. Watch “Senior Stories.”
Long-term use of prescription painkillers and anti-anxiety drugs can be more addictive than heroin. Watch “Julie’s Story.” Learn why prescription and OTC drugs are becoming the new “gateway” drugs being abused by teens. Watch “Katie’s Story.”
Featured Contributors: American Medical Association, The Partnership for a Drug-Free America, Rush University Medical Center
Topic Videos: Drug Safety
- Ask the Expert Find out more about prescription and over-the-counter drug abuse among children and teens. Watch
- What Is It? Prescription and over-the-counter drugs are everywhere. And so are the risks of accidental overdose and addiction. Watch
- Katie’s Story Katie thought the pills were safe because they came from the medicine cabinet. Then she got addicted. Watch
- Why Does It Matter? Accidental overdose and prescription drug misuse are on the rise. Prescription drugs are accessible; they're also dangerous. Watch
- Julie’s Story Julie got addicted to painkillers. Now she is a lot more cautious with them. Watch
- What Can I Do About It? Be aware. Understand possible side effects. Ask questions and ask for help. Watch
- Senior Stories Taking a lot of different drugs can get confusing, and medicine can interact with each other. And that can be dangerous. Watch