Department of Banking and Finance
NDBF OFFERS RESOURCES TO HELP INVESTMENT PROFESSIONALS WORK WITH CLIENTS AFFECTED BY THE OPIOID EPIDEMIC
October 28, 2019 (LINCOLN, NEB.) — The Nebraska Department of Banking and Finance (NDBF) today announced the availability of resources to raise awareness of the impact of the opioid epidemic on investment professionals and their clients, especially senior investors.
"The opioid crisis in North America is devastating families and our communities. It is also a rising contributor to elder financial abuse," said NDBF Deputy Director Claire McHenry.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in 2017 declared opioid abuse a public health emergency and estimated in 2017 that 11.4 million Americans misused prescription opioids. Recent research by Virginia Tech’s Center for Gerontology and the Elder Justice Coalition identified a connection between opioid abuse and elder abuse, including financial exploitation.
Deputy Director McHenry said the agency is offering two new resources to help raise awareness of how the opioid crisis impacts investment professionals and their clients.
The first is a guide to help investment professionals understand the many ways opioid use disorder might affect their clients, how to spot signs of financial exploitation, and how to help clients affected by opioid abuse. The guide also includes a list of helpful resources. The second resource consists of conversation starters financial professionals can use to help start a dialogue with clients about the financial ramifications of opioid addiction.
"Investment adviser representatives and broker-dealer agents are well positioned to be part of the solution, but they have to be prepared to talk to clients in crisis," Deputy Director McHenry said. "The cost of opioid addiction and treatment can have major financial ramifications. Clients facing opioid addiction – either themselves or within the family – may be strapped for resources and can be vulnerable to poor financial decision-making or even fraud."
The resources are also available on the agency’s website ndbf.nebraska.gov.
More information about the laws governing the securities industry in Nebraska can be found on NDBF’s website at ndbf.nebraska.gov. If you have questions about any investment matter, call NDBF’s Consumer Hotline toll free at (877) 471-3445 in Nebraska, or (402) 471-3445 if you are out of state.