How The Opioid Crisis Affects The Elderly
The number one reason Americans today seek medical attention is pain according to the National Institute of Health. In fact, pain is a more common condition than diabetes, heart disease, and cancer combined.
Table of Contents
- Opioid Use Among The Elderly
- Physical Effects On Seniors
- How Opioids Impact The Elderly Mentally
- Potential Signs Of Opioid Addiction
- What To Do If Opioid Addiction Is Suspected
- Natural Pain-Relieving Alternatives For The Elderly
- Non-Opioid Medications
- Safe Opioid Use
These numbers are causing some healthcare professionals to encourage prescription providers to really consider whether opioids are the best course of action for patients in pain. Research published in The BMJ adds that chronic pain conditions are more prevalent for individuals 65 years old and older, with 52.8 percent reporting that they’ve experienced some type of pain within the previous 30 days. This pain can result in problems with mobility, increased risk of falls, and even trouble sleeping. Other effects of enduring chronic pain for the elderly are more mental in nature, including the development of issues related to depression, anxiety, feeling isolated, and activity avoidance. Essentially, chronic pain impacts all areas of one’s life, which is why many are now turning to opioids in an effort to ease it.
Opioid Use Among the Elderly
The number of elderly patients receiving opioid prescriptions increased nine times between 1996 to 2010 according to Psychiatric Times. And more than one in three (35 percent) of individuals over the age of 50 report that they have misused this particular category of drug in the last 30 days, causing the hospitalization rate for misuse to increase five-fold over the last two decades. These numbers are causing some healthcare professionals to encourage prescription providers to really consider whether opioids are the best course of action for patients in pain. For instance, U.S. Pharmacist urges healthcare officials to “be cautious” when prescribing opiates to the elderly, partially because of age-related renal function decline, prohibiting their bodies from effectively clearing them from their systems. However, opioids have other effects on the elderly, some of which are physical in nature and others which are more mental.
Give Your Loved Ones The Best Care
Caring for parents as they age is never easy. The help from home care services allows you to maintain your relationship while providing the best care possible. Find caregivers. When these jerky contractions occur due to taking opiates, it is still questionable as to whether opiate receptor blockers like the drug naloxone can effectively reverse this effect.