Number Of Seniors Hospitalized Due To Opioids Triples

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Federal data showed the number of senior citizens in Tennessee who have been hospitalized due to painkillers has more than tripled over the last decade.

According to reports, the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality data showed that in 2005, 467 seniors out of every 100,000 spent time in the hospital due to opioids. In 2015, the rate had increased to 1,505.

Reports gave various reasons for hospitalizations, including auto accidents and falls after taking opioids, interactions with other medications and unintentional overdoses.

The spike has left some advocates who work with seniors age 65 and up puzzled.

Experts said family members and doctors have been more likely to overlook addiction in seniors. In addition, Dr. Peter Martin, a psychiatrist and director of the Vanderbilt Addiction Center, said no one in the past worried about seniors becoming addicts.

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