Seniors Are the Forgotten Victims of the Opioid Epidemic

When many people think about the tragedies associated with the opioid epidemic, their thoughts often turn solely to the young faces of teens and adults in their 20s whose lives were cut short far too soon due to an overdose.

However, adults aged 50 or older have been impacted significantly by the crisis as well, with studies showing that misuse among older Americans has increased over the past decade.

While adults 50 and older were still the least likely age group to misuse opioids at 2.0 percent in 2014, that figure more than doubled the percentage from a decade before, according to a study released earlier this year by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

A CBS news report, featuring the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey, on how the national opioid crisis has affected older adults will air tonight during the 11 p.m. news. The story will detail several issues that senior citizens and older adults could face when prescribed opioids.

Because people in this age group commonly undergo medical procedures and often are prescribed opioid painkillers, it is important for them to learn about the addictive nature of these medications.

Opioids also can pose a danger because they can end up in the hands of family members and friends. Adults should always keep their medications in secure locations, so they are not diverted for potential misuse.

Please tune in to CBS-New York Channel 2 at 11 p.m. tonight to learn more about how the opioid epidemic is impacting our senior citizens.

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