Even more seniors are addicted to opioids

News 19 July, 2017
  • Photo courtesy
    Marie-Ève Goyer, A Physician

    Héloïse Archambault

    Wednesday, 19 July 2017 06:30

    Wednesday, 19 July 2017 06:30

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    The methadone prescriptions to help seniors become addicted to opioids have increased by 122 % since three years only, which shows a new face of addiction.

    “The issue is the chronic non-cancer pain, such as back pain or arthritis,” explains Dr. Marie-Ève Goyer, specialises in helping people addicted to opioids.

    New customer

    “We must adapt to this clientele. We change the approaches, and we collaborate with clinical pain, we had never done before. It is now hand in hand, ” said the specialist.

    According to the data of the Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec (RAMQ) obtained by the Journal, The pharmacists have served 6318 prescriptions of methadone in substitution treatment for opioids to persons 65 years of age and over, by 2016.

    It is a bond to an impressive 122 % compared to 2013 (2851 services).

    In most of these cases, there are patients become addicted to their dose of opioids, most often prescribed initially to treat the pain. A minority is also a drug addict.

    Become addicted, seniors are receiving methadone substitution. Often, they will take this medicine for the rest of their lives.

    Higher opioid

    In addition, prescriptions for opioids to treat pain are also strong explosion for the past three years with this clientele.

    Methadone has recorded the largest increase (+59 %), followed by hydromorphone (+44 %) and morphine (+39 %).

    Note that the aging of the population may have an impact on these figures.