How the Opioid Epidemic Impacts Seniors

The U.S. is currently experiencing a prescription opioid epidemic, according to End the Epidemic. The CDC states the number of drug overdose deaths increased by nearly 5% from 2018 to 2019 and over 70% of the 70,630 deaths in 2019 involved an opioid. Clearly this is devastating countless lives and something must be done.

When many people think about the opioid crisis, it’s easy to envision illegal alley exchanges or individuals taking opioids in dark, concealed rooms. The truth is that opioids are prescribed by a doctor or medical facility for treatments of common symptoms, chronic pain, and recovery from surgery. defines opioids as a class of drugs that includes the illegal drug heroin, synthetic opioids such as fentanyl, and pain relievers available legally by prescription, such as oxycodone (OxyContin®), hydrocodone (Vicodin®), codeine and morphine. 

Older adults may not understand how to take their medications correctly or understand the consequences of overusing their medication. Kathleen Cameron with the National Council on Aging has stated that “older adults are actually misusing and becoming addicted to opioids as a result of pain management or depression.”

An additional problem can be found with drug-seeking family members or caregivers of an older adults. The prescribed opioids can be stolen and used or sold, or the older adult may be abused or coerced into giving the drug seeker the medication.

It’s crucial to identify opioid-dependent behavior in older adults, as an overuse disorder can be deadlier for older adults than younger individuals. It’s equally as important to ensure medications are only used for the patient to which the medication was prescribed.

At Nationwide Drug Testing Service, our staff is not only understanding and considerate, but knowledgeable as well. From the moment you contact us, you work with a professional, well-trained Representative who stays with you throughout the entire process.

Nationwide Drug Testing Services is one of the largest accredited drug testing networks in the U.S. We offer testing in every state Nationwide, for affordable, Same-Day-Appointment Drug Testing and Fast, Accurate results.

Call us today at 877.497.1002 or Order a Test Online!