to be sure, the report didn’t breakdown what proportion of hospital admissions or emergency department visits related to abuse of the medications versus, for example, side effects that occurred when an older patient took opioids as prescribed bierman and other experts note that older adults often have chronic pain, along with multiple other chronic conditions, and opioids are frequently prescribed to treat that pain previous research finds in 2016 about 1 in 3 seniors enrolled in a medicare prescription drug plan, or part d, received prescription opioids and that “a substantial number received higher doses than recommended for prolonged periods of time, putting them at increased risk of misuse,” as noted in the ahrq report