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Two Older Adults Sitting on a Bench Looking at a Mountainous Landscape

Older Americans Often Forgotten When It Comes to the Opioid Epidemic

Between May 2020 and April 2021, over 100,000 deaths in the US were as a result of drug overdoses. This is according to data supplied by the National Center for Health Statistics. It is usually thought that people under the age of 30 are those most likely to die from drug overdoses—almost thought of as being exclusive to this group. This newest set of statistics, however, paints a different picture as more and more people aged 55 and over are dying due to accidental drug overdoses.

The Number of Older Americans Dying from Drug-Related Overdoses is Surprising and Alarming

The increase in numbers is both depressing and surprising. According to figures released in 1999, only 0.9 deaths per 100,000 people relating to accidental drug overdoses were of people aged 55 or older. The most recent set of figures shows a massive hike in that number to 10.7 deaths per 100,000, which is a tenfold increase.

In 2019, over 10,000 people aged 55 and over died from opioid-related overdoses. In 1999, that figure was only 500. Between 1999 and 2019, just under 80,000 US residents aged 55 and over died from accidental drug overdoses involving opioids.

“We have this idea in our mind of what older people are like – what grandma and grandpa are like – and they are not people who use recreational drugs,’ says Maryann Mason, the lead author of this study and an associate professor of emergency medicine at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. “I think that keeps a lot of people from looking into this area.”

Older People are More Likely to Have Pain Medication Prescriptions, and that Could Include Opioids

Older people face unique risk factors that young people do not when it comes to opioids. Older people are more likely to suffer from chronic conditions that lead to multiple prescription medications, and these medications can include opioids. Drug misuse among older people is on the rise too. ER department visits as the result of the misuse of opioids have risen over 200 percent since 2006. Older people also lack the ability of young people to metabolize opioids, making them more susceptible to overdoses.

If your life has been affected by opioids and you want it to be returned to normal, we here at Advanced Rapid Detox can help. We can cleanse your body of opioids in as little as three days—all while you are under controlled supervision at a dedicated medical facility. Call us today at (800) 603-1813, or contact us online here.