Treatment & Recovery
The national opioid epidemic has increased the need of treatment for opioid use disorder (OUD). Often overlooked within this growing patient population is a subgroup of older adults with OUD. Nationally, about 14,000 Americans age 45 and older died from drug overdose in 2015, and from 2015 to 2016 the drug overdose death rates for adults aged 45-54, 55-64, and 65 and older increased 15%, 17%, and 7%, respectively. Over 1.2 million in the age group of 45 and older reported past-month opioid misuse. The Administration on Aging and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services estimates that the number of older adults who misuse opioids will double from 2004 to 2020, making this population a high priority for treatment. Among this particular population, OUD is often rooted in legitimate medical opioid prescriptions, which is commonly linked to benzodiazepine prescriptions and alcohol use. At younger ages, these prescribed medicines are less likely to be disabling, but they can be disabling at older ages due to physical and cognitive limitations.
This session will discuss the addiction-related needs of this growing and often ignored older patient population, including common health issues that complicate addiction treatment. The family role in addiction and recovery, as well as the role of prescribing physicians, is central to recovery. Lessons learned from an innovative treatment program for older adults with OUD will be reviewed with a focus on the wider applicability of these lessons in addiction medicine nationally.
This session is accredited for the following accreditation types: CME, CNE, CPE, APA, AAFP, AAHCPAD*, NAADAC*, ASWB*
*State and provincial regulatory boards have the final authority to determine whether an individual course may be accepted for continuing education credit.