Fact Sheet: Opioid Addiction and Older Adults

National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse

As people approach retirement, various life changes can lead to an increase in prescription drug abuse. These life changes – like divorce, an empty nest, or the loss of a parent or a spouse – may lead a person to feel more socially isolated and turn to addictive substances as a means to self-medicate difficult feelings and emotions. Retirement also can prompt anxiety and stress. As older individuals approach these transitional life events, it is important for family members to be actively aware of any changes in their behavior that may reflect opioid misuse.

View the fact sheet.