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December 2018 Connect with us Facebook Twitter Sign up  |  Archive  |  Advertise
Editor's e-Note
Opioid dependence is an issue that affects millions of people, not only those who are addicted but also their family and friends. Dependence can begin from legitimately prescribed medications that are eventually misused. This raises the issue of prescribing limits and the counseling that should accompany the use of opioids. We may picture someone who is opioid dependent as a younger person, but older adults are also affected as nearly one-third have received a prescription for opioid pain medication in the last two years.

This month's E-news Exclusive reports on the results of a major poll of older adults that shows elders favor protocols and procedures that will better ensure their safety, even if inconvenient.

We welcome your comments at Visit our website at, like our Facebook page, and follow us on Twitter.

— Marianne Mallon, editor
e-News Exclusive
Older Adults Support Opioid Prescribing Limits, Better Counseling, Disposal Options

Nearly one-third of older adults have received a prescription for an opioid pain medicine in the past two years, but many of them didn’t get sufficient counseling about the risks that come with the potent painkillers, how to reduce their use, when to switch to a nonopioid option, or what to do with leftover pills, a recent poll finds.

But the poll also finds that nearly three-fourths of older adults would support limits on how many opioid pills a physician could prescribe at once. Even more supported other efforts to limit exposure to these medications and potentially combat the national epidemic of opioid misuse due to medication diversion.

The new findings, from the National Poll on Healthy Aging (NPHA), suggest a major opportunity for providers and community organizations to focus on safe opioid use and safe disposal among older Americans. These findings also could help state and federal policymakers understand the views of a key demographic group at a critical time.

Full Story »
Tech & Tools
New Device Improves Balance in Veterans With Gulf War Illness

Gulf War veterans with unexplained illnesses that cause fatigue, headaches, respiratory disorders, and memory problems can improve their balance with a device developed by Rutgers University researchers.

The associated study is the first to examine how Gulf War illnesses affect veterans’ vestibular systems, which are integral for balance, memory, and brain blood flow.

This prominent condition affecting Gulf War veterans includes a cluster of medically unexplained chronic symptoms that can also include joint pain, indigestion, insomnia, and dizziness, according to the VA, which supported the study. The disorder affects about 25% of the 700,000 veterans who served in Operation Desert Storm/Desert Shield in 1990–1991.

“Although it’s been more than 25 years since the conflict, we still do not understand the underlying cause of these symptoms and have yet to develop an effective treatment,” says lead author Jorge M. Serrador, PhD, an associate professor in the departments of pharmacology, physiology, and neuroscience at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School and a scientist at the New Jersey War Related Illness and Injury Study Center.

Read more »
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In this e-Newsletter
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Despite High Number of Alcohol-Related Deaths, Alcohol Misuse Remains an Underaddressed Public Health Issue
USA Today reports that alcohol causes 88,000 deaths annually, but because drinking, unlike smoking, still enjoys wide public acceptance, it is an undertreated problem.

New Research Shows Some Areas Could Face Multiple Climate-Related Crises Simultaneously by the End of the Century
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Anti-Vaccination Stronghold Experiences Worst Chickenpox Outbreak in 20 Years
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