The opioid crisis in the form of prescription pain killers, is affecting senior citizens at an increasingly dangerous rate, warns the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).
Millions of senior citizens are filling prescriptions for many different opioid medications at the same time. And hundreds of thousands are getting hospitalized with opioid-related complications. Seniors are using opioids to control their chronic pain and to tamp down the despair of depression, says the report.
Opioid Crisis: Statistics On Senior Citizens Abuse
The report points out that chronic pain is common among seniors, as eight in 10 struggle with multiple health conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, arthritis and depression.
In order to cope with this pain, many seniors take opioids, which inevitably raises the risk for side effects and negative drug interactions.
Indeed, opioid-caused complications resulted in 125,000 hospitalizations, and more than 36,000 emergency department visits, among seniors in 2015.
Most alarming, the AHRQ report found that opioid-related emergency department visits among seniors increased up by 74 percent. Conversely, non-opioid emergency department visits only increased 17 percent.
At the same time, AHRQ’s second report found that nearly 10 million seniors filled at least one opioid prescription between 2015 and 2016. And about 4 million seniors, filled prescriptions for four or more opioids, which was characterized as “frequent” use.
Opioid Crisis: Solutions For Seniors
The AHRQ report recommends that clinicians and doctors prescribe non-opioid pain medications an before considering the use of opioids.
If these do not work, then a switch to opioids is merited, but only at the lowest possible dose.
Opiod Crisis: Clinical Services At Putnam Ridge Rehab Center
If you have a loved one suffering from the opioid crisis, then consider our skilled nursing facility at the Putnam Ridge Rehabilitation Center.
Our therapists work one-on-one with patients to improve development of physical, social and emotional functions that are crucial to activities of daily living. Our multi-disciplined team of medical and clinical professionals treat conditions related to chronic disease management and depression.
At Putnam Ridge, we use techniques that are designed to improve outcomes, shorten length of stay, and increase patient’s comfort while recovering in a sub-acute setting.
Please call us (845-278-3636 ) to schedule a tour of our facilities.