Prescription pain pills are causing a health crisis for Tennessee seniors

Pain pills are sending more senior citizens to the hospital in Tennessee, according to data that sheds new light on how opioid addiction has spread to the state's aging population.

The rate of hospitalizations for Tennesseans 65 years and older due to painkillers has more than tripled in a decade.

Older adults are being hospitalized for reasons that range from falls and auto accidents after taking pain pills to unintentional overdoses, interactions with other medications and weakened kidney or liver functions in aging bodies that fail to metabolize the drug in the same way as younger people.

Experts say physicians and family members are more likely to overlook addiction in senior citizens — even after opioids require a trip to the hospital.



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