Opioid epidemic sweeps across US, hits Oregon seniors especially hard

Oregon seniors hit hard by opioid use

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Opioid addiction is hitting hard in Oregon.  

It's a nationwide problem but according to the Centers for Disease Control more seniors in Oregon end up in the hospital because of problems with opioids than anywhere else in the country.

"All the side effects we see get magnified when people get older," said Dr. Ruben Halperin of the Providence Medical Group. 

He was part of a task force that looked at opioid use in Oregon. The group came up with new prescription guidelines they released in December of last year. Prescriptions have gone done but there's still a long way to go. 

Dr. Katrina Hedberg the Health Officer for Oregon, recommends alternatives to prescriptions.

"For treating chronic pain, they don’t work very well.”

She says there are alternative treatments things such as physical therapy, yoga and acupuncture that do work well. 

CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain

© 2017 KGW-TV


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