Number of seniors hospitalized due to opioids triples

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Federal data shows the number of senior citizens in Tennessee who are hospitalized due to painkillers has more than tripled over the last decade.
    
                The Tennessean reports the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality data showed that in 2005, 467 seniors out of every 100,000 spent time in the hospital due to opioids. In 2015, the rate had increased to 1,505.
    
The newspaper reports various reasons for hospitalizations, including auto accidents and falls after taking opioids, interactions with other medications and unintentional overdoses.
    
The spike has left some advocates who work with seniors age 65 and up puzzled.
    
Experts say family members and doctors are more likely to overlook addiction in seniors. In addition, Dr. Peter Martin, a psychiatrist and director of the Vanderbilt Addiction Center, says no one in the past worried about seniors becoming addicts.
    
The spike in opioid-related hospitalizations left some advocates who work with seniors puzzled.

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