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Senior Drug Awareness

Macomb County, MI
Program Year: 2009

The economic crisis in America has caused many families to move back in with their aging parents or relatives. As foreclosures continue to rise, the once quiet home of a senior citizen is now becoming a long-time shelter for sons, daughters, and grandchildren. Since the medicine cabinets in many seniors’ homes are filled with pills, these homes are becoming places where prescription medication theft and abuse exists. During 2008, the Macomb County Department of Senior Services Victim Liaison began seeing an alarming pattern: many of their senior clients were missing prescription medications. Knowing prescription drug theft and abuse was prevalent among seniors, Senior Services sought to fill an unmet need by educating seniors on how to safe-guard medications, what drug paraphernalia looks like, what the signs of drug addiction are, and what to do if a loved-one is found abusing drugs. Working with faith-based agencies, nonprofit agencies, school administrators, the local community college, and many private individuals, the county coordinated a conference to educate seniors and promote awareness about this issue.