Home > Online policy and practice briefings: Older people with problematic opioid use.

European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction. [EMCDDA] (2017) Online policy and practice briefings: Older people with problematic opioid use. Lisbon: European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction.

URL: http://www.emcdda.europa.eu/best-practice/briefing...

People over the age of 40 make up an increasing share of those with an opioid problem in Europe. This is reflected in the increasing age of those in drug treatment and those dying of opioid overdoses.

In this group of older opioid users, the physical ageing process may be accelerated by the cumulative effects of polydrug use, overdose and infections over many years. Older people with opioid problems have higher rates of degenerative disorders, circulatory and respiratory problems, pneumonia, breathlessness, diabetes, hepatitis and liver cirrhosis than their peers and younger people who use drugs. They may also be more susceptible to infection, overdose and suicide.

In addition, their social networks may be reduced because of premature death and stigma, which can further increase social exclusion and isolation from families. The stigma and shame of still using drugs may also act as a barrier to help-seeking.


Item Type:Evidence resource
Drug Type:Alcohol or other drugs in general, Opioid
Intervention Type:AOD disorder, AOD disorder treatment method, AOD disorder harm reduction
Source:EMCDDA
Date:October 2017
Publisher:European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction
Corporate Creators:European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction
Place of Publication:Lisbon
EndNote:View
Subjects:B Substances > Opioids (opiates)
T Demographic characteristics > Elderly / Older person
VA Geographic area > Europe

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