PDDH Hosts Opiate Awareness Presentations for Older Adults

Pomperaug Health District to Deliver Opiate Awareness programs for Seniors

Connecticut Community Foundation has awarded Pomperaug District Department of Health grant monies to launch the Senior Health Opiate Awareness and Response (SHOAR) program for older adults who rely on prescription medications to manage chronic pain. SHOAR presentations raise awareness about accidental overdoses and dependence on pain medications in older adults. These free, 90 minute sessions, facilitated by skilled public health professionals, offer alternative pain management strategies for people who suffer with chronic pain, and their caregivers.
Presentations will be held at the Woodbury Senior Center, Tuesday, May 15 from 2:30 to 4:00 pm for the general public, and Wednesday, May 16 from 2:00 to 3:30pm at Heritage Village for Village residents only. Light refreshments will be served at both sessions and pre-registration is not required.

Older adults may be at higher risk for accidental overdose due to poor health, dehydration, taking multiple medications, and a variety of other reasons. “The older we get,” says Neal Lustig, Director of the Pomperaug District Department of Health, “the more likely we are to become addicted due to impaired metabolism.” Lustig notes that AARP estimates 15 percent of people aged 60 and older currently struggle with substance use issues. “We are fortunate to have the support of Connecticut Community Foundation,” says Lustig. “The Foundation enables us to allocate the time and resources needed to tackle this very real public health crisis of accidental overdose due to polypharmacy and opiate dependency.”

Participants will also learn about signs of an overdose and how to respond, including a discussion of NARCAN, medication used to reverse an accidental overdose.

For additional information regarding Senior Health Opiate Awareness and Response presentations or to discuss volunteer opportunities with the Pomperaug Health District, please call 203.264.9616