Painkiller overdose deaths rising among women
Overdose deaths from prescription painkillers have risen dramatically over the past decade, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). According to the report, deaths among women have jumped 400 percent while they’ve climbed 265 percent among men. Men are still more likely to overdose from painkillers, but the statistics raise concerns among health officials that women are catching up.
In 2010, more than 6,600 women in the U.S. died from painkiller overdoses, which is quadruple the number of cocaine and heroin overdose deaths combined. The highest death rate was among women aged 45 to 54, and most of the deaths were accidental.
Women are often prescribed prescription painkillers for chronic pain issues and migraines, and they are more likely to be given powerful pills than men – resulting in over 200,000 ER visits each year for opioid abuse among females alone.
Doctors can play an important role in decreasing these figures, according to the report, which notes that women are more likely to become addicted to these drugs than men.