Preventing Opioid Harms in Older Adults
Practice Tools and Resources
Addressing opioid-related harms is a national priority. The United States is entrenched in an opioid epidemic that has led to an exponential increase in the number of unintentional overdose deaths over the past decade. Risky prescribing, including overprescribing, of prescription opioids for chronic pain management has been identified as a primary contributor. Baby Boomers represent an age cohort with greater lifetime opiate use than any generation prior, placing them at increased risk for opioid-related harms and overdose.
Implementation of national guidelines has improved medication safety standards, yet there is a lack of appropriate and comprehensive recommendations for the treatment of older adults. The integration of practice resources to improve pain and medication screening, treatment, and communication with older adults is critical.
The following resources have been compiled to help providers and clinic staff improve older adult care for enhanced pain management.