Not only are far too many Americans taking powerful opioids for conditions that do not merit them, but they're mixing medications in potentially fatal ways.

A new study finds that one-sixth of senior citizens in the U.S. have mixed prescription drugs and/or dietary supplements that should never be mixed.

The research, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association by Dima M. Qat, a professor of pharmacy at the University of Illinois-Chicago, found that the number of seniors engaging in such mixing doubled between 2006 and 2011.

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