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Issues, resources for covering opioid use among older adults

Alan Cassels
Alan Cassels

We have an opioid crisis in the United States. Every day in this country there are 45 deaths and 30 emergency room visits due to the effects of these powerful painkillers, according to the CDC.

Poor and inappropriate prescribing among elderly people, especially instances of polypharmacy (the prescribing of multiple drugs) contributes to the risk of adverse drug reactions. The use of opioids in the elderly merits special attention for several reasons.

For journalists assigned to cover prescription drugs or health issues among the elderly, here are some helpful basics about different types of pain medication, opioid prescribing to the elderly and what is driving the growth.

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