AARP: 3 in 4 older adults support opioid prescription limits

A majority of older Americans support limits on the opioids their physician would be able to prescribe for them in their efforts to curb the opioid epidemic, according to a new AARP and Michigan Medicine National Healthy Aging Poll.

A majority of older Americans support limits on the opioids their physician would be able to prescribe for them in their efforts to curb the opioid epidemic, according to a new AARP and Michigan Medicine National Healthy Aging Poll. The poll of more than 2,000 adults aged 50–80 years found that nearly 30% had a prescription for an opioid filled within the last 2 years. The most common reasons for an opioid prescription were arthritis-related pain, back pain, surgery, or injury. The vast majority (86%) indicated they kept the leftover drugs for future use. Officials said the findings could be used to help guide providers and policymakers in decisions about curbing opioid misuse. Eighty percent of older adults said they support mandates for special provider training to prescribe opioid medications and 54% support policies which require providers review prescription records to assess patient risk. Fewer than one-half of older adults support a requirement to require the return of unused medications, while 75% of the respondents said they support the limits on total number of days and drugs that can be prescribed.