Women’s Painkiller Overdose on the Rise

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The CDC reported last week that more than five times as many women died of prescription drugs in 2010 than in 1999, totaling 48,000 women. This is an increase of 400% averaging about 18 women per day. The FDA warns of a Rx opioid painkiller abuse including drugs like Vicodin, OxyContin, Opana and methadone.

The CDC Director Tom Frieden told CBS news, “These drugs should not be used lightly. We still need to understand how dangerous these drugs are.”

All too often, the risks of taking these medications out way the benefits due to lifelong addictions. Some of the reasons why these painkillers are on the rise is that women are increasingly vulnerable to chronic pain. 

Also statistically, the rise in stress, which is always higher in women, causes more inflammation, therefore, more pain. Women should use extreme caution upon taking any opiate or over the counter NSAID. If your doctor prescribes an opiate, it is perfectly within your right to be cautious and ask if the drug is necessary. The CDC has sent warnings to physicians to follow strict guidelines when it comes to prescribing these medications.

“Everyone has a role to play in reversing this,” Frieden said. “Patients need to understand that the opiates are not always the answer. They are dangerous drugs. Doctors need to be more careful about prescribing and state governments along with insurance companies need to set up safe guards to ensure proper usage.”

Be careful out there ladies, take care of yourselves!

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