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Media Advisories

May 11, 2004 Contact: AoA Press Office

SAMHSA, FDA and AoA Work To Help Keep America’s Older Citizens Safe and Healthy and Celebrate Older American’s Month

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the Administration on Aging, agencies under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), will release public education materials to warn older Americans of the dangers of mixing certain prescription drugs or prescription medications and alcohol.

Abuse of alcohol and prescription medications is a problem among older adults since many who suffer from depression or anxiety start self-medicating with alcohol instead of seeking help from a mental health professional. There is also concern that the mixing of medications can provide symptoms that masquerade as mental disorders.

WHO: H. Westley Clark, M.D., J.D., M.P.H., Director, SAMHSA’s Center for Substance Abuse Treatment

Peter Pitts, Associate Commissioner for External Relations, Food and Drug Administration

Edwin L. Walker, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy and Programs, Administration on

Gilbert Fitzgerald, Person in Recovery

WHEN: May 11, 2004 at 1:30 P.M.

WHERE: U.S. Department of Health and Human Resources Auditorium
Hubert Humphrey Building
200 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20201