The issue of overdose is in the news for younger folks who are getting caught up with “prescription medicines” the so called “Opioid Epidemic”. Much of the press coverage focuses on otherwise normal people who have an injury, are given ( perhaps inappropriately) opiates for pain for such injuries as low back pain and minor fractures , only to find themselves addicted to the pain killers. We are all pretty familiar with this scenario – but in our practice at Gaitway of Charlotte, we see many seniors who are using large amounts of anti-anxiety medications and sleeping pills – that again – were prescribed for short term use but have turned into an addiction that these seniors depend on. Just the thought of trying to wean these powerful medications incites the anxiety that they seek to reduce. Many sleep medications invoke “rebound sleeplessness” – hours of tossing and turning – feeling exhausted and not being able to sleep – a difficult road for sure.
This article from the New York Times addresses these difficult topics head on – enjoy this read.