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Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA). Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg by way of Getty Photographs
A congressional listening to and a brand new report issued by a authorities watchdog present that older adults want extra assist accessing look after substance use problems, discovering suppliers keen to deal with them and getting required companies coated.
Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA), chairman of the Senate Particular Committee on Ageing, famous that nearly 4 million older adults reported having a substance use dysfunction in 2022, with 1.8 million of these involving drug use. Mortality from drug overdoses amongst older adults additionally greater than tripled between 2000 and 2022, he added, citing federal information.
“Older adults usually are not immune to those points, and this a rising and evolving disaster in America,” Casey mentioned in opening the current listening to of the committee, which targeted each on entry to opioids and gaps in care.
“Older adults are usually ignored for substance use problems in typical screenings and prevention efforts, though they’re extra inclined to creating substance use problems than different age teams and at the next threat of undiagnosed and untreated substance use problems,” he added. “The folks, the issues and the options stay largely invisible to our society.”
Lengthy-term care services more and more are being referred to as on to deal with sufferers who’ve substance use problems.
The current listening to coincided with the publication of an annual temporary from the Well being and Human Providers Workplace of Inspector Common that examines entry to remedy for opioid use dysfunction and the opioid overdose-reversal drug naloxone.
It discovered that about 52,000 Medicare enrollees skilled an opioid overdose in 2022. Of the 1.1 million enrollees who’ve opioid use dysfunction, simply 18% obtained treatment to deal with that dysfunction. In some states, the OIG discovered far decrease entry. Florida was the worst, with simply 6% receiving remedy treatment.
Though naloxone has been an necessary device in addressing the nation’s opioid disaster — one Senate witness credited it with “saving numerous People from demise” — it grew to become an over-the-counter treatment final yr.
From the February 2024 Difficulty of McKnight’s Senior Residing