Elder Abuse: The Untold Cost of the Opiate Crisis

This Sunday’s Boston Globe ran a wonderful article about the toll that the opiate crisis has taken on older adults across the Commonwealth.  The statistics in the article are quite sobering, “since 2011 elder abuse reports have climbed 37 percent, with more than 1,000 additional cases reported each of the past five years to protective services offices. The Executive Office of Elder Affairs, the agency that tracks and investigates abuse, recorded nearly 25,000 cases last year.”    Unfortunately, the statistics just confirm what many of us who work with older adults see every day – the untold illness, injury, and suffering of victims of abuse which often leads to the loss of housing, depletion of scare economic resources, exacerbation of medical problems, and a host of other issues. Articles like this help with prevention efforts – they raise the profile of the issue and turn a bright light on a problem that most people do not know about.  Kudos to Kay Lazar of the Boston Globe for pulling this issue out of the shadows and putting it on the front page of the Globe.

http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2016/05/14/reports-elder-abuse-surge-massachusetts/FcrmDP2wMiZ0FK0amZ179L/story.html?s_campaign=8315

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One thought on “Elder Abuse: The Untold Cost of the Opiate Crisis

  1. Unfortunately there is nothing new about addiction or the unthinkable lengths to which an addict will go to satisfy their need. Sadly nothing new about seeing the weakest being exploited. What is new however is the much more pervasive distribution of illegal drugs by powerful international cartels who have also broadened their client base to almost all of us. Worse still is what I believe to be a troubling practice within managed care to treat quickly and with prescription drugs. Aiding this suspect practice are the constant aggressive TV solicitations that try to “push” drugs directly to the individual in addition to a multi-billion dollar drug industry that hawks their wares directly to physicians. Where addiction was once limited in its social geography today we are universally awash in both illicit and prescribed addictive drugs.

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