overdose or experience negative side effects.
Newer studies support the development of elder-specific opioid treatment and stricter prescription guidelines, but some physicians are likely to ignore this due to the aggressive marketing of opioids to physicians in the past.
Even though the rates of opioid addiction in the elderly are projected to increase, Dr. Johnson and SAMHSA will continue to educate physicians about the potential dangers of opioid therapy and promoting the use of non-opioid painkillers.
Ultimately, families should take a proactive approach when it comes to addiction.
“Treatment is available, treatment can be effective, and [senior citizens] should talk to their physicians,” Dr. Johnson said. “Family members should not be afraid to talk to their older family member about their prescription drug use.”