4,000+ hospitalized in 2016: AG Schimel warns senior citizens about opioid abuse

MADISON — Attorney General Brad Schimel is telling senior citizens to be aware of the dangers of abusing opioid medication.

Schimel said during a news conference Monday at the Wisconsin State Bar ahead of the first meeting of his new elder abuse task force that more than 4,000 state residents aged 55 or older were hospitalized for opioid addiction or overdoses last year.

He urged seniors to use their drugs only as prescribed, not to share them and to dispose of them properly.

Schimel said the task force will look at ways to protect senior citizens from opioid abuse and how to keep people from stealing their prescription drugs. He said the task force also will examine how to protect senior citizens from financial fraud and improve assisted living.