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Surprising Stats About Seniors and Oxycodone Addiction

Recovery Centers of America

Authored by Recovery Centers of America

Are we forgetting elderly oxycodone addiction when it comes to addictions recovery centers?


Opioid overdose deaths have quadrupled since 1999, and opioid abuse sends thousands of people to the emergency room each year. Doctors in the US are prescribing opioid painkillers at an alarming rate and oxycodone is one of the most widely-prescribed drugs. Our addictions recovery center is working to reduce the stigma of addiction and facilitate comprehensive oxycodone addiction treatment. A growing number of the senior and elderly population faces addiction to oxycodone and other painkillers. This older generation could benefit from the same hydrocodone and oxycodone addiction treatment available to the younger population.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, people ages 65 and over comprise only 13% of the U.S. population, but consume one third of all prescription drugs. This puts seniors at greater risk for prescription painkiller abuse. Seniors also take more potentially addictive medication than any other age group. One study demonstrated that of the patients who entered addictions recovery center treatment in 2005, 10% were over age 50.

Similarly, another study reports that the projected number of people age 50 and older who abuse prescription drugs could increase 190% over the next two decades from 911,000 in 2001 to almost 2.7 million by 2020. 

Seniors And Oxycodone Addiction Treatment

The alarming truth is that seniors’ prescription painkiller abuse often goes unrecognized for a myriad of reasons. Often times, families or caretakers misinterpret symptoms of addiction.  Symptoms such as irritability, slowed speech or loss of coordination, are often interpreted as symptoms of aging.  Likewise, addiction is more often seen as a disease afflicting younger adults. Even clinicians can mistakenly perceive symptoms of aging in their senior patients rather than recognizing addiction.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that the oxycodone addiction treatment utilized by younger adults can be just as effective for the senior population. The approach to treatment, however, should take into account the medical, emotional and psychological factors associated with aging, as these factors could influence the way in which treatment services are provided.  Seniors may have other medical conditions, so the assessment and evaluation phase of treatment is particularly critical for this population.

For more information about seniors, addiction or oxycodone addiction treatment, contact a care consultant at Lighthouse today at 1-800-RECOVERY. We are available 24/7 to answer your questions.

Authored by

Recovery Centers of America

Recovery Centers of America



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