MEDICINE IS VERY VALUABLE ON THE STREET –   

Sept. 17, 2021 – The family called the police. How often do older Americans fall victim to drug diversion, in which someone steals or tampers with prescription medications, particularly opioids, for personal use or for sale? Researchers and advocates trying to protect seniors from abuse and exploitation wish they knew. The data are sparse and scattered but hint at a significant problem.

During the nation’s ongoing opioid crisis, which saw 500,000 overdose deaths over two decades, manufacturers and too many willing doctors flooded parts of the country with prescription drugs, particularly oxycodone.

“There was a rise in older adult use that mirrored the rise in younger people,” said Dr. Michael Steinman, a geriatrician at the University of California, San Francisco, and co-director of the U.S. Deprescribing Research Network.

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