In the next few years, the number of the elderly will further increase. In direct proportion to age, the risk of multimorbidity and the number of prescribed medication will increase as well. The more drugs are taken, the higher the risk is of drug abuse or drug addiction. In Austria, there are about 150.000 people suffering from drug addiction and women are more affected than men. The first part of this thesis is a literature review defining drug abuse and drug addiction in terms of the elderly, and reasons for drug addiction and drug abuse are presented. Medication that potentially leads to addiction and abuse is discussed, and potential steps for diagnosis and prevention are considered. The second part is an empirical study. From August to October 2015, data from 210 women 65+ was collected in 21 long-term care homes in Upper Austria through semi-structured questionnaires in order to investigate the prevalence of taking medication for pain, in order to sleep, to calm down, as well as laxatives and mood enhancer. Furthermore, the daily intake of potentially inappropriate medication in long-term care was analysed. The survey reveals that the prevalence of painkillers was 51,4%, which corresponds to the German numbers. The daily use of sleeping pills, sedatives, and mood enhancing drugs, the data was 47,6%, 27,1%, and 33,8%, was higher than the corresponding numbers in the German Addiction Survey. The potentially inappropriate medication rate for older people was 45,2%, which corresponds to the reported average rates of other countries.