Senior opioid addiction

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When you think about opioid addiction, you usually think of it happening to young people. But they aren’t the only ones that can become addicted.
 
Seniors take more medicine than any other age group. A study shows as many as 1 in 3 of them are on at least one opioid based medication on a regular basis. Often times it’s due to chronic pain associated with aging because they can’t take ibuprofen due of other conditions. So opioids are often the only way to tolerate the pain.
 
Bob Davidson has been a pharmacist for almost 60 years and he says part of the problem is doctors under prescribe pain medication for seniors, that way they end up having to take more than prescribed to get the relief they need, that can sometimes lead to abuse.
 
“It’s not necessarily a matter of doses, it’s a matter of dosage, if they get it often enough during the course of the day as the manufacturer recommends, they can get relief, again we go back to the problem of prescribing pain medication once a day or one twice a day, it’s not gonna work,” says Bob Davidson.
 
Davidson also believes the relative inexpensiveness of this category of medicine thanks to insurance and medicare can be a contributing factor. So how can you tell if a loved one has developed an addiction? Nathan Honeycutt says for their reaction when it’s time for a refill.
 
“Sometimes they can really make sure on the dot I got to have this at a certain at a specific time and they can sometimes get very particular and that sometimes can maybe indicate some issues,” says Honeycutt.

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