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More Prescription Medications

Anyone who's got a fear of needles has one question on their mind when a physician or nurse produces one: "Does that come in pill form?" Now more than ever in America, it does.

These days, prescription medications are available for any malady (especially if you consider brittle eyelashes and the like to be a malady). Whether it's pain relief, high cholesterol, erectile dysfunction or any number of other conditions, there's a pill available that can take care of it.

Between 1996 and 2006, there was about a 25 percent increase in the number of people between the ages of 55 and 64 who received more than five prescriptions during a hospital visit [source: Elliott]. Heavy use of prescription drugs can lead to dependence on and abuse of prescription drugs, which are in fact the most commonly abused controlled substance [source: Hille].

One study found that 83 percent of nursing home residents took antipsychotic medications, meaning many are at risk of being overmedicated [source: CNN].

How active are boomers compared to previous generations? Keep reading to find out.

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