El Paso, TX. Chiropractor Dr. Alex Jimenez focuses on the rise in opioid use among older adults.
SpineUniverse reported on a study that indicated a 10% increase in opioid addiction or dependency in patients prescribed such drugs to take care of postoperative pain. Although spine surgery was not among the forms of operations included in the research, it’s intriguing to see that 3% of the patients ages 55-years plus, disclosed addiction and opioid use.
Older adults as well as the elderly are part of about 100 million adults in the USA (US) affected by severe or chronic pain. Low back pain is neck pain, and among the most frequent causes of pain, followed by headache/ migraine pain. Spinal stenosis, spinal osteoarthritis, and degenerative disc disease are frequent investigations in elderly residents and our mature adult.
In a presentation by Sullivan in 2003 about chronic pain and prescription opioid abuse and dependence in mature adults, it had been reported that “the prevalence of pain increases with each decade of life Additionally, 80% were grown by pain criticisms in adults age 65 and older. Moreover, as the number of opioid prescriptions increased, so did use by older adults—but some medical studies regularly blown off addiction as temporary or rather rare.
Acknowledge and its particular bureaus and the government started to recognize opioid use and the potential risks in elderly Americans. In 2012, a study revealed that more than 700,000 adults (ages 45 to 84) were hospitalized particularly for opioid abuse. Mature adults as well as the elderly accounted for a five-time increase in hospitalizations for opioid abuse compared to younger Americans.
Adults of any age taking an opioid may experience drug unwanted effects that are possibly dangerous. But for mature adults or senior -aged individuals, the hazards are weightier. Why? Old people frequently take several medications simultaneously to treat different medical problems (eg, diabetes, hypertension). It may be a challenge for the patient to keep an eye on when to take a drug that is prescribed or remember if the medicine was taken, which may result in unintentional doses. An opioid drops, and introduces another tier of potential risks, including respiratory depression, lack of balance, confusion, dizziness, drowsiness, nausea.
In 2015, Congress introduced a Medicare-specific bill called “Ceasing Drug Exploitation and Shielding Seniors Act.” Now, we see changes dispensed, and monitored to prevent physician- shopping and other ways drugs could possibly be obtained and abused.
Managing Opioid Medications
Elderly patients or some adult live alone, in a household setting, receive home-health support, or reside in a assisted-living facility or alternative scenario. In some cases, the direction of the medication, including pain-relieving drug is managed by healthcare or nursing staff.
Many older adults and aged patients are quite capable of handling physician’s visits, their drugs, and everyday life. Then there are other people who want support. They might not realize they need help or may not ask. This is where friend, a family member or caregiver might help by being observant and step in to help. By way of example, does the patient take their medication as prescribed, but nevertheless look to be in pain? Does he /she stumble easily or fall, complain about feeling dizzy, confused, constipated, or have a few other criticisms?
Remember that people so do their needs for drugs and change with age. In unwanted effects and handling pain, the alternative can be an alternate kind of drug or a dose change. Considering many senior adults and aged men take multiple medications, it’s an excellent idea to bring OTC medication all prescription and nutritional supplements to each physician’s visit for review. This creates a superb chance for you and the individual to talk together with the doctor about new challenges and health changes.
The information herein on "Raising Awareness Of Opioid Use In Older Adults & The Elderly" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, or licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.
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Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CIFM*, IFMCP*, ATN*, CCST
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