June 21, 2024
Opioid/Substance Use Disorders | Tea Leaves
  • A recent federal study revealed that only 4.1 percent of traditional Medicare enrollees who survived a nonfatal drug overdose in 2020 received effective medications for opioid use disorder within the following year, such as methadone or buprenorphine. This finding underscores significant gaps in providing essential addiction treatments to high-risk seniors, despite measures like prescribing naloxone and offering psychotherapy or counseling to 6 percent and 18 percent of those affected, respectively. The study also highlighted a concerning 17.4 percent rate of subsequent overdoses within a year and a 1 percent mortality rate from overdose among this group. Experts stress the urgent need for improved health care strategies to connect seniors with appropriate addiction treatments and prevention services, particularly amidst disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. (Article here)