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Deadly Drug ODs Amongst U.S. Seniors Have Quadrupled in 20 Years

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By Cara Murez 

HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, March 30, 2023 (HealthDay Information) — Drug overdose deaths — each unintended and intentional — have quadrupled over the previous 20 years amongst older adults in america, a brand new research finds.

This enhance in individuals ages 65 and older suggests the necessity for larger psychological well being and substance use insurance policies, the authors stated.

“The dramatic rise in overdose fatalities amongst adults over 65 years of age prior to now twenty years underscores how necessary it’s for clinicians and policymakers to think about overdose as an issue throughout the life span,” stated co-author Chelsea Shover, an assistant professor of medication on the College of California, Los Angeles David Geffen Faculty of Medication.

“Updating Medicare to cowl evidence-based therapy for substance use problems is essential, as is offering hurt discount provides similar to naloxone to older adults,” Shover stated in a faculty information launch.

About three-fourths of those that died by accident have been utilizing illicit medication, together with artificial opioids similar to fentanyl, heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine. In 67% of intentional overdoses, seniors used prescription remedy, together with opioids, antidepressants, benzodiazepines, antiepileptics and sedatives.

The researchers calculated overdose deaths amongst seniors from 2002 to 2021, utilizing a database from the U.S. Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention. The investigators in contrast demographics, particular medication, and whether or not the deaths have been intentional, unintentional or undetermined.

They discovered that deadly overdoses quadrupled from 1,060 in 2002, which was 3 per 100,000, to six,702 in 2021, or 12 per 100,000. Black seniors had the very best charges, at 30.9 per 100,000.

By 2021, 1 in 370 senior deaths was from an overdose, the report famous. About 57% of these concerned opioids, 39% concerned stimulants and 18% included a mix of the 2 varieties of medication.

About 13% of overdoses in 2021 have been intentional and 83% have been unintentional. One other 4% have been undetermined, and 0.7% — 5 individuals — have been murdered.

Girls comprised 57% of the intentional overdoses and 29% of the unintended overdoses, in response to the research.

The researchers additionally decided that 37%, of overdoses amongst Asian-People have been intentional in comparison with 17% amongst white individuals and 1% amongst Black individuals.
 

Deaths from alcohol poisoning rose from lower than 0.03 per 100,000 to 0.5 per 100,000 through the research interval.

“Despite the fact that drug overdose stays an unusual reason for dying amongst older adults within the U.S., the quadrupling of deadly overdoses amongst older adults must be thought-about in evolving insurance policies targeted on the overdose epidemic,” the researchers wrote. “Present proposals to improved psychological well being and substance use dysfunction protection inside Medicare, for instance, making use of psychological well being parity guidelines inside Medicare, purchase larger urgency in mild of this research’s outcomes.”

Examine findings have been revealed March 29 in JAMA Psychiatry.

Extra data

The U.S. Nationwide Security Council has extra on drug overdoses.

 

SOURCE: UCLA, information launch, March 29, 2023

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