An Indiana law professor is asking the U.S. Senate to consider the impact of the opioid crisis on elderly Americans.
Robert H. McKinney School of Law Professor Nicolas Terry spoke before the Senate Special Committee on Aging today.
He says elderly people who abuse opioids suffer greater risks compared to other age groups.
“Injuries and deaths are substantially higher among older adults with opioid use disorder,” he says. “And rural older adults are dying from the opioid epidemic at a slightly higher rate than older adults generally.”
Terry says half of elderly Americans suffer from a chronic pain disorder. He says as states try to crack down on opioid prescriptions, the elderly may turn to illegal drugs for pain management.
His work is part of the Indiana University Grand Challenges initiative. It explores how health law can help or harm efforts to fight the opioid crisis.
Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) facilitated Terry’s appearance before the Senate.