Opioid misuse in older adults is an underappreciated and growing problem. Although opioid misuse overall is lower among older than among younger Americans, the rate of opioid misuse among older adults nearly doubled between 2002 and 2014.1 In 2016, a third of the more than 40 million Americans enrolled in Medicare Part D received prescription opioids and a substantial number received higher doses than recommended for prolonged periods of time, putting them at increased risk of misuse.2 Between 2005 and 2014, the rate of opioid-related hospitalizations increased fastest among patients aged 65 years and older compared with all other age groups.3

Review Statistical Brief