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Drug Use & Baby Boomers: 5 Prescription Drugs With High Potential For Abuse

07/05/2012 08:38 am ET | Updated Jul 01, 2013

When it comes to taking prescription medication, professionals will tell you that sticking to specific doses on a set schedule is of the utmost importance to avoid accidental drug abuse. But even with labeled pill boxes and extra precautions, improper use and drug abuse among baby boomers is on the rise.

Based on data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, an estimated 4.8 million adults aged 50 and older used an illicit drug -- whether it was an illegal substance or non-medical use of a prescription -- last year. The number of older drug abusers has increased so much in the past decade that the National Institute of Health released its first consumer alert for seniors last month.

However, it's not just illegal substances that are the problem. With the average 50-year-old man taking four prescription drugs per day, the likelihood of addiction to necessary medicines is high.

Check out the gallery below to see the top five most commonly abused prescription drugs among the 50+ set, according to health reports. And yes, marijuana is one of those medications, as it is prescribed in some instances, much to the chagrin of the federal government.

The 5 Drugs Most Commonly Abused By Post-50s

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