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Why might elderly people be hesitant to take prescribed opioid medication?

Dr. Timothy W. Fong, MD
Neurologist

Doctors sometimes see elderly adults who are hesitant to take prescription opioid medication. "Doc, I don't want to become addicted.” Or, “Doc, I'd rather have anything else, other than opioids to treat my pain" are some examples. However, doctors know that pain is one of the biggest triggers and reasons people develop addiction. They strongly encourage patients to become informed and educated about prescription pain pill use. Addiction doesn't happen overnight. It can take several weeks, to several months to develop this disease.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.