A study recently reported in the Archives of Internal Medicine indicates that older adults prescribed opiate painkillers after minor surgical procedures were 44% more likely to become “long term opioid users within 1 year” than those not given the prescriptions.
When was the last time one of your elderly parents had (for example) cataract surgery? Or varicose vein removal? For these and other common procedures referred to in the study, we might not even know what the doctor prescribes Mom or Dad afterward. And will they know to ask the right questions about that pain prescription? Even if they do, are they at risk?
On one side, we worry about our kids’ risk of drug addiction… are we going to have to keep tabs on Mom and Dad as well?
We suggest the same preventive measures for both: A careful discussion of risks. Here’s an article from Huffington Post that discusses addiction risks elders should be aware of, and some signs that you might want to pay a little closer attention to what’s going on in Mom & Dad’s medicine cabinet.