The overdose crisis has no limitations and even senior citizen drug overdoses are on the rise. Addiction can affect anyone at any age and for seniors, there are a variety of circumstances causing more and more deaths. Prescription drug abuse, deadly drug combinations, and metabolization of drugs can all be contributing to the increase in seniors overdosing.

One of the top factors causing a rise in senior overdoses is prescription medications. Among older adults, abuse of prescriptions is becoming common and prescription drug addiction continues to grow as an issue. Due to age-related health problems, seniors are likely to have access to prescription medications that are provided to them by a healthcare provider with instruction on usage. It is when seniors do not take their prescriptions as directed that they can become addicted, especially if they are using excessive amounts of the medication.

Reasons senior citizens may become addicted to prescription medications include:

  • Self-medicating to manage pain, anxiety, or depression
  • Lack of understanding of the potential dangers of prescription drug use
  • Difficulty in stopping the use of drugs once they have been prescribed
  • Taking multiple medications which can cause harmful interactions and even death.

With old age, the body changes and has a reduced ability to metabolize drugs. This alone can influence the effects the drug has, and even make it more deadly. It is highly recommended to speak with a healthcare provider regarding any and all drugs used and inform them of medical history, including any history of addiction issues. Asking questions and being open with a trusted healthcare provider can help seniors understand the risks associated with the drugs they are using and help them reduce the risk of overdose by merely having education about the drugs.


If a senior or anyone for that matter finds themselves addicted to prescription drugs, it is important to seek professional help as soon as possible. Modern day treatments offer many different avenues to alleviate addiction while providing necessary support through behavioral therapy and support groups. There is even medication-assisted treatment available to help individuals overcome their addiction and achieve long-term recovery.


If there is an overdose, medical care needs to be given immediately. Signs of overdose include shallow breathing, slow heart rate, confusion, loss of consciousness, and changes in skin color or temperature. Treatment given in ample time can possibly reverse an overdose and save a life.

Our team at Scottsdale Recovery and Detox Center has been serving our community as well as those nationwide as Arizona’s premier addiction center for over a decade. By providing a vast array of services we recognize not two people are exactly the same and neither are their addictions. We welcome people of all ages who struggle with addiction and provide the support needed to recover.

Connect with our team if you or a loved one are seeking support! Learn more by visiting or call 1-888-NODRUGS.

Talk to Someone Who’s Been There. Talk to Someone Who Can Help. Scottsdale Recovery Center holds the highest accreditation (Joint Commission) and is Arizona’s premier rehab facility since 2009. Call 602-346-9142.