Opioid misuse among older adults is an important public health concern. Opioid misuse includes either the use of heroin or the nonmedical use of prescription pain relievers.1 Heroin is an extremely dangerous drug with no accepted medical use in the United States. Nonmedical use of prescription pain relievers among older adults is associated with negative health outcomes, including falls, hip fracture, and traffic accidents.2,3  Given the dangers associated with heroin use and the nonmedical use of prescription pain relievers, it is useful to monitor trends in opioid misuse


Addiction is a disease, carried by our genetic code and triggered by environmental exposure (use).  Once use occurs, the genie is out of the bottle and the disease progresses.  It’s no surprise that older Americans are turning to dangerous opiates.  I believe that Buprenorphine is a safe medication for many groups, including the elderly, when used in a medically supervised manner.  It’s a strong analgesic, prevents cravings, relieves withdrawal symptoms… It’s God’s gift to those with the addiction gene(s)!  For physicians to start patients on opiates and then abruptly cut them off is in my opinion, cruel punishment for having a genetic condition.

Dr. Raymond Oenbrink
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