Planned Giving

Your act of generosity, our longevity

With planned giving, you can provide long-lasting support for Boys & Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound while enjoying financial benefits for yourself.

Text Resize
Print
Email
Subsribe to RSS Feed

Tuesday May 22, 2018

Savvy Living

Savvy Senior

Finding Help for Seniors Addicted to Opioids

I'm worried about my 72-year-old mom who has been taking Vicodin—an opioid medication—for her hip and back pain for more than a year. I fear she's becoming addicted to the drug but I don't know what to do.

Opioid addiction is a national problem that is hitting people of all ages, including millions of older Americans. Here is what you should know and do to help your mom.

The Cause


The main reason opioid addiction has become such a problem for people over age 50 is because opioids have become a commonly prescribed (and often overprescribed) medication by doctors over the past two decades. It is being used to treat many different types of pain and diseases, including arthritis, cancer, neurological diseases and other illnesses that become more common in later life.

Nearly one-third of all Medicare patients—almost 12 million people—were prescribed opioid painkillers by their physicians in 2015. That same year, 2.7 million Americans over the age of 50 abused painkillers.

Taken as directed, opioids can manage pain effectively when used for a short amount of time. However, because nearly 5% of those treated will develop an addiction or abuse the opioid medication, people should be screened and monitored when using an opioid for a long period of time.

Signs of Addiction


Your mom may be addicted to opioids if she cannot stop herself from taking the drug and her tolerance continues to increase. She may also be addicted if she keeps using opioids without her doctor's consent, even if it is causing her problems related to her health, money, family or friends.

If you think your mom has an addiction, ask her to see a doctor for an evaluation. Go to a family doctor, her prescribing physician or find a specialist through the American Society of Addiction Medicine (see ASAM.org) or the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry (AAAP.org). It is also important to be positive and encouraging. Addiction is a medical matter, not a character flaw. Repeated use of opioids actually can change the way the brain functions.

Treatments


Treatment for opioid addiction is different for each person, but the main goal is to enable your mom to stop taking the drug and avoid using it again in the future.

To help her stop using the drug, her doctor can prescribe certain medicines to help relieve her withdrawal symptoms and control her cravings. These medicines include methadone, buprenorphine and naltrexone.

After her body detoxifies, behavioral treatments such as individual counseling, group or family counseling and cognitive therapy can help her learn how to manage depression, avoid the drug, deal with cravings and heal damaged relationships.

For assistance, call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) confidential help line at 800-662-4357 or visit SAMHSA.gov. The SAMHSA has individuals who can connect you with treatment services in your mom's state.

Also, if you believe that your mom has a doctor who prescribes opioids in excess or without legitimate reason, you should report him or her to the appropriate state medical board. For contact information visit FSMB.org.

Savvy Living is written by Jim Miller, a regular contributor to the NBC Today Show and author of "The Savvy Living” book. Any links in this article are offered as a service and there is no endorsement of any product. These articles are offered as a helpful and informative service to our friends and may not always reflect this organization’s official position on some topics. Jim invites you to send your senior questions to: Savvy Living, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070.

Published August 4, 2017
Print
Email
Subsribe to RSS Feed

Previous Articles

How to Choose the Right Type of Walker

How to Find and Claim Your Family's Unclaimed Money

The Hidden Dangers of Heartburn

New Medicare Cards Debut Next Year

Auto Safety Devices That Can Help Seniors with Older Cars

scriptsknown

Gift Options

Donor Stories

Learn how others have made an impact through their acts of giving to our organization and others. Explore the many benefits of charitable gift planning.

more

How to Give

Learn how to make a gift that provides tax benefits and even life income.

more

What to Give

Find out what type of assets make the best planned gifts. Learn about gifts of cash, securities and property.

more

Planned Gifts Calculator

View a presentation that shows the benefits of a planned gift based on your property and goals.

more

News

Personal Planner

Bequests to Your Favorite Charity Bequests to charity are the most popular type of planned gift. A donor may retain assets during life and then leave a...

more

Finance News

Hewlett-Packard Continues Resurgence Treasuries Rise on Mixed Economic Data Interest Rates Stay Low

Savvy Living

Personal Tech Products Designed Specifically for Seniors. Can you recommend any tablets, smartphones or computers that are specifically designed for seniors? I would like to buy...

more

Washington News

IRS End-of-Year Tax Tips

In IR-2014-110, the IRS offered tax tips for end-of-year charitable giving. 1. Household or Clothing Gifts ? These items must be in good used condition or better..

more

For Advisor

Advisor Resources

We have a complete tax update service for CPAs, attorneys, CLUs, CFPs, ChFCs, trust officers and other professional friends.

more

Deduction Calculator

The GiftLaw Calculator is a planned gifts calculator for professionals that follows the IRS format

more

Private Letter Ruling

Estate Distributes to Foundation without Self-Dealing

Decedent formed Company and subsequently formed Irrevocable Trust...

more

Washington News

IRS End-of-Year Tax Tips

In IR-2014-110, the IRS offered tax tips for end-of-year charitable giving. 1. Household or Clothing Gifts ? These items must be in good used condition or better.

more

GiftLaw Pro

Charitable Tax Reference

GiftLaw Pro is a complete charitable giving and tax information service inside the GiftLaw website...

more

Case of the Week

Living on the Edge, Part 4

Rhea Jones, 75, lives in a beautiful coastal town in northern California. Rhea?s home occupies three...

more

Article of the Month

Gifts of Pass-Through Business Interests

A charitable gift of a business interest can make a wonderful gift to charity. At the same time,...

more