On average, the patients were 78 years old when they received their first prescription, which guidelines say should rarely if be given to adults over age 65.
Suicides and drug overdoses kill US adults at twice the rate today as they did just nearly two decades ago.
Despite warnings that older adults shouldn’t take sedatives that put them at risk of injury and death, many primary care doctors are still prescribing them.
Many employers — ill-equipped or unwilling to confront an issue they are at a loss to handle — turn a blind eye to addiction within their workforce.
Despite an overdose epidemic that is killing nearly 200 Americans a day, the vast majority of hospitals do not offer addiction treatment to ER patients.
Prescriptions for sedatives known as benzodiazepines may lead to long-term use among 1 in 4 older adults who receive them.