Opioid use was very common among the long-term care (LTC) residents in our sample. Perhaps reflecting their post-acute rehabilitative needs, discharged residents were more likely to have opioid use prior to LTC admission and at the beginning of the LTC stay. Opioid use diminished over the course of the LTC stay for this group, but a sizeable minority of these individuals still had opioid use once discharged to the community, some of which developed into longer-term or chronic use. The non-discharged individuals in our sample generally had lower opioid use prior to LTC admission and at the beginning of the LTC stay. Over the course of their LTC stay, however, opioid use by non-discharged residents dropped only modestly, sometimes with problematic benzodiazepine use added to their medications.
This research was conducted under contract #HHSP233201700050C between HHS/ASPE’s Office of Behavioral Health, Disability, and Aging Policy (BHDAP) and Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. Please also visit the ASPE Long-Term Services & Supports/Long-Term Care page for additional research in this area.