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Am J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2016 Nov;24(11):949-963. doi: 10.1016/j.jagp.2016.06.003. Epub 2016 Jun 7.

A Systematic Review of Opioid and Benzodiazepine Misuse in Older Adults.

Author information

1
Department of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA.
2
School of Pharmacy, University of Washington, Seattle, WA.
3
Department of Information Science, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA.
4
Department of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA; Department of Anesthesiology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA; Department of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA; Geriatric Research, Education & Clinical Center, VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System, Pittsburgh, PA.
5
Department of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA; Department of Anesthesiology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA; Geriatric Research, Education & Clinical Center, VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System, Pittsburgh, PA. Electronic address: karpjf@upmc.edu.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The authors assessed the prevalence of opioid and benzodiazepine prescription drug misuse in older adults, the risk factors associated with misuse, and age-appropriate interventions.

METHODS:

Following PRISMA guidelines, a literature search of PubMed, PsycINFO, and EMBASE for peer-reviewed journal articles in English through April 2014 with updates through November 2015 was conducted for reports on misuse of prescription benzodiazepines and opioids in older adults. Relevant publications were reviewed that included participants age ≥65 years. Reference lists were manually searched for key identified articles and geriatric journals through April 2016. Information on the study design, sample, intervention, comparators, outcome, time frame, and risk of bias were abstracted for each article.

RESULTS:

Of 4,932 reviewed reports, 15 were included in this systematic review. Thirteen studies assessed the prevalence of prescription drug misuse and included studies related to opioid shopping behavior, assessment of morbidity and mortality associated with opioid and/or benzodiazepine use, frequency and characteristics of opioid prescribing, frequency of substance use disorders and nonprescription use of pain relievers, and health conditions and experiences of long-term benzodiazepine users. One study identified risk factors for misuse, and one study described the effects of provider education and an electronic support tool as an intervention.

CONCLUSION:

There is a dearth of high quality research on prescription drug misuse in older adults. Existing studies are heterogeneous, making it difficult to draw broad conclusions. The need for further research specific to prescription drug misuse among older adults is discussed.

KEYWORDS:

Aging; geriatrics; prescription drug abuse; primary care; substance abuse

PMID:
27567185
PMCID:
PMC5069126
DOI:
10.1016/j.jagp.2016.06.003
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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