Optimal Aging Institute Addressing the Opioid Crisis Among Middle-Aged and Older Adults

Join Wood County for a Community Opioid Forum, Feb. 11, 2pm at Pemberville Legion Hall

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It is well-known that an opioid abuse crisis exists – but the fact that it affects more than just younger people is much less known. According to a 2017 report by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), prescription opioid overdose death rates increased the greatest in adults aged 55-64 (4.2 deaths per 100,000 in 1999 to 21.8 per 100,000 in 2015), and, in 2015, adults between the ages of 45-54 had the highest death rate from drug overdose (30 deaths per 100,000). And, in another report, prescription opioid misuses increased 66% for t hose aged 50-64 and more than doubled for those aged 65 and older (Schepis & McCabe, 2016).
Faced with these and other sobering facts, BGSU’s Optimal Aging Institute (OAI), with the Wood County Committee on Aging (WCCOA) in Bowling Green, Ohio, is developing a comprehensive strategy to address opioid use and misuse among middle-aged and older adults in Northwest Ohio, with the goals of reducing opioid abuse, misuse, dependency, and opioid overdose deaths in these populations. The WCCOA and the OAI are working with the Wood County Opiate Task Force and the Northwest Ohio Opioid Addiction Treatment Planning Task Force to develop and disseminate evidence-based opioid prevention education programs specifically for middle-aged and older adults throughout Northwest Ohio.

We expect this project will make a meaningful impact regionally and will start the national conversation on the opioid crisis among adults aged 45+. For more information, contact Nancy Orel, Ph.D., executive director of research for the Institute, at norel@bgsu.edu , or Denise Niese at dcniese@wccoa.net .

The OAI will continue to expand these webpages to serve as resources for people wanting to know more about this crisis, and what can be done about it, so check back often.