AAN News & Opinion
Opioid Crisis through the Lens of Social JusticeThe United States opioid crisis brings into sharp focus the health inequities for persons dependent on opioids due to long-term use for chronic pain and persons with opioid use disorder (OUD). Disparate access to health-care services, however, is widespread for vulnerable populations like frail older adults, children, incarcerated individuals, and members of racial, ethnic and sexual minorities, groups for whom opioid use exacts a heavy burden. Stigma combined with few prevention services and limited access to healthcare for life-saving treatment are costly for the society and its citizens.
Position statement: Policies to support family caregiversIn 2013, an estimated 40 million family caregivers provided an average of 18 hours of care per week, reflecting approximately $470 billion in unpaid caregiving contributions (Reinhard, Feinberg, Choula, & Houser, 2015). Projected demographic shifts in the U.S., including the rapidly aging population (World Health Organization, 2015) and increase of individuals living with chronic conditions across the lifespan (American Academy of Pediatrics, American Academy of Family Physicians, American College of Physicians, 2011; Houtrow, Larson, Olson, Newacheck, & Halfon, 2014), will increase the demand for family caregivers.