Study reports opioid misuse in older adults causes physical and mental complications

FILE – This Aug. 29, 2018, file photo shows an arrangement of prescription oxycodone pills in New York. U.S. health officials are again warning doctors against abandoning chronic pain patients by abruptly stopping their opioid prescriptions. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services instead urged doctors Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019, to share such decisions […]

SAN MARCOS, TX (KXAN) — A study conducted in part at Texas State University reports that older adults—50 years or older—who suffer from prescription opioid misuse (POM) are at higher risk of physical and mental quality of life problems and other complications.

The study, “Prescription Opioid Misuse in US Older Adults: Associated Comorbidities and Reduced Quality of Life in the National Epidemiologic Survey of Alcohol and Related Conditions-III,” co-authored by professors from Texas State University and the University of Michigan found that 17.6% of older adults with on-going POM experienced higher rates of depression and 37.4% experience substance use disorder. Research data also shows that 45.6% are hospitalized overnight.

The study concludes that older adults with POM need multidisciplinary care for physical and mental health and substance use conditions.

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