Half of Women Methadone Patients Started on Painkillers

More than half of female methadone clinic patients became addicted to opioids after using prescription painkillers, according to new research published in the journal Biology of Sex Differences.

Researchers from McMaster University in Ontario took a closer look at gender differences between men and women who were being treated for addiction at methadone clinics. The study involved 503 men and women from 13 methadone clinics in Ontario.

After an analysis of information from patients that included health, lifestyle, and urine tests for drug use, researchers found that 52 percent of women and 38 percent of men were first exposed to opioids through a prescription from their doctor.

They also found that women were more likely to have physical and psychological health problems, home responsibilities, and a genetic predisposition to mental illness, and that men were more likely to be working and using tobacco and marijuana. In fact, marijuana use was high among both men and women – 47 percent reporting use in the past month

Study authors also found that treatment with methadone for opioid addiction was largely geared towards men, with few studies including women--even though the case can be made that women are affected more significantly than men.

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Sourced from: Medical News Today, 50% of female methadone patients started with prescription painkillers