Wellness Roundup: The Dangers of Opioid Use in Seniors

Danielle Riguerra

Danielle Riguerra

Linda Shannon-Hills

The SaddleBrooke Ranch Wellness Roundup is sponsoring a Zoom seminar on Friday, April 16, from 5 until 6 p.m. The presentation will provide a better understanding of the dangers of prescription drug misuse, proper storage, and disposal methods, as well as helpful resources to keep you and your family safe.

Data from 2018 shows that every day, 128 people in the United States die after overdosing on opioids. Opioids can be an illegal substance or a legal pain medication prescription from your physician. In the senior population, opioid overdose is not usually intentional, nor is it because the medication is being used for recreation (to get high). It comes from unintentional misuse. Long-term use of opioids can also present dangers for many different reasons.

The Copper Corridor Community Substance Abuse Coalition keynote speakers are Darien Mathews, Danielle Riguerra, and Marla Pierce.

Darien Mathews is with Arizona Youth Partnership (AZYP) who since 2006 expanded to serve rural communities across Arizona. AZYP seeks to employ a root cause approach to build healthy, self-sufficient families through evidence-based prevention programs. Darien is the Coalition Coordinator for the Copper Corridor Substance Abuse Coalition. His professional and personal family experience with substance use disorders drives him to compassionately help others get the help they need.

Danielle Riguerra (she/her) began as the Coalition Coordinator for Marana Prevention Alliance, and although she still supports the area, she has now broadened her efforts as a Prevention Specialist through Arizona Youth Partnership, serving all of northern Pima County. Danielle also serves as the Program Coordinator for “Wake Up!,” a monthly substance diversion course for youth across Pima County. Her energy and determination align directly with the Coalition’s mission to reduce and prevent substance use through education, collaboration, and engagement.

Marla Pierce has made a career of working in social services with older adults, either under contract or directly for Pinal–Gila Council for Senior Citizens for over 30 years. Currently, Marla is the Prevention Services Program Coordinator, providing educational classes and information regarding prescription medication misuse to older adults in Pinal County. She also facilitates a prevention coalition, CHAMMP, which provides outreach and education to Older Adults regarding appropriate medication use, storage and disposal. Marla also serves as the coalition mascot in the form of “Bill the Pill.”

Come join us for an interactive educational session to learn about opioids, their use, how they can be unintentionally misused and the harmful effects they can have. Don’t miss out on this very important presentation on Friday, April 16 at 5 p.m. To register for this presentation, contact Darien Mathews at [email protected] or by phone at 310-926-4765.