A recent study by the American Society of Anesthesiologists has revealed interesting information on how various generations deal with pain management. When we look at Millienials (ages 18-36), Gen Xers (ages 37-52), Baby Boomers (ages 53-71) and the Silent Generation (ages 72-92) we see marked differences. Baby Boomers are two times more likely than Millennials to have used opioids to treat pain. Baby Boomers and the Silent Generation are more likely to choose over-the-counter drugs to deal with their pain issues. Millennials along with Gen Xers prefer to manage chronic pain by making changes to their lifestyle including exercise, mindfulness, etc. Nearly 30% of Millenials think it is ok to take opioids without a prescription, and one in five Millennials regret using opioids. A few more survey results that were interesting: one in ten Millennials obtained opioids inappropriately through a household member's prescription; 60% of Millennials have experience chronic pain; one in five Millennials say they don't know the best method for disposing leftover opioids.*
Everyone should be aware that unused drugs that remain in medicine cabinets are highly susceptibel to theft and misuse. To avoid misuse, bring your unused, expired household prescription and over the counter drugs to a permanent medicine drop box located in your local police station. All police departments in Mercer County now have a permanent medicine drop box installed in their lobby areas which can be accessed 24/7. To find a medicine drop box in another county, visit: www.njconsumeraffairs.gov/meddrop
If you are an older adult dealing with chronic pain (or a caregiver to someone with chronic pain) and are looking for alternative approaches to opioids, schedule a free Healthy Outlooks presentation today by calling 609-396-5874 ext 205. In this one hour presentation you will learn about risks of prescription pain medications such as Vicodin, Oxycontin or Codeine; find healthy alternatives to pain management and gain insights into Rx medicine misue and safety.
*Based on August 2017 ORC International Caravan Omnibus Survey