Prescription Drug Overdoses Spike Among Women

Posted by on Jul 8, 2013 in Prescription Drugs, Recovery |

Prescription Drug Overdoses Spike Among Women

The United States is in the grip of an epidemic of prescription drug overdoses. Over 27,000 people died from overdoses in 2007, a number that has risen five-fold since 1990 and has never been higher. Prescription drugs are now involved in more overdose deaths than heroin and cocaine combined.

This disturbing death rate coincides with a ten-fold increase in the medical use of opioid painkillers like oxycodone and hydrocodone. The increased availability of such powerful drugs has led to widespread abuse. According to the 2009 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, more than 5 million Americans misused opioid painkillers in the past month.

Statistics on Prescription Drug Abuse Among Women

The CDC (the Centers for Disease Control) finds that women are more likely than men to doctor-shop, meaning they are seeing multiple doctors in order to gain multiple prescriptions for such drugs as narcotic painkillers and amphetamines, which are prescribed for ADD/ADHD. It also finds that there may be evidence that women may become addicted to painkillers at a faster rate than their male counterparts.

In 2010 alone, nearly one million women went to the emergency room for drug misuse or abuse.

The 2010 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) estimated that 2.4 million Americans abused prescription drugs for the first time within the past year. More than one half of them were female, and two-thirds of those were over the age of 17. That means approximately 800,000 adult females, or 2,191 women a day, began abusing prescription drugs in this past year alone. The White House considers women to be one of the three populations most at-risk for substance abuse. Even more troubling, while prescription drug abuse among women is on the rise, they are receiving treatment for addiction less frequently than men.

Prescription Drug Overdose and Women

Recent data shows that more women die from prescription painkiller overdoses than from breast cancer. The CDC is calling it a public health epidemic, and the growing numbers deserve both attention and action.

White women, American Indian women, and Alaska native women are at highest risk of dying from prescription drug overdose. Women between the ages of 25 and 54 are most likely to go to the emergency room for prescription drug misuse, but middle-aged women, women between the ages of 45 and 54, are most likely to die from prescription drug overdose.

About 18 women die from prescription drug overdose every single day in the United States. In what has been described as a “growing epidemic,” women between the ages of 45 and 54 are at the highest risk for overdose.

According to the CDC, almost 48,000 women died of prescription drug overdose between 1999 and 2010. In general, men still die from overdoses more often than women, but the gap between men and women is closing at an alarming rate. Female prescription drug overdose deaths increased by 400% in a little over a decade, compared to 265% in men.

 

Sources:

www.cdc.gov

http://beforeitsnews.com

http://www.bradfordhealth.com

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