(NaturalHealth365) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) this past July reports that more women die each year from pain relieving drug overdoses than from car accidents. And in 2010, four times as many died than were victims of homicide!
In all, from 1999 to 2010, more than a 500 percent jump of deaths occurred in women who misused recreational opioids and benzodiazepines that were prescribed for pain relief, anxiety management and to prevent seizures.
Opioids recklessly prescribed to a hurting, desperate society
It’s almost unbelievable, and if you don’t keep up with all the news you probably wouldn’t believe it. According to the CDC, “In 2010, enough opioid pain relievers (OPR) were sold to medicate every adult in the United States with the equivalent of a typical dose of 5 mg of hydrocodone every 4 hours for 1 month, a 300 percent increase in the sales rate over 11 years.”
The numbers are staggering and only promise to grow!
Are women being profiled?
The data is interesting. Although the death rate for OPR overdose is still more prevalent among men, women are dying at a faster rate; there has been a 500 percent increase from a decade ago in comparison to a 360 percent in men. For several reasons, women have been targeted and profiled for OPR use and are suffering for it.
Subsequently, women have been hospitalized because of OPR overdoses more frequently than men since 1993 and they suffer from high rates of amenorrhea (absence of a menstrual period) and infertility because of it.
The CDC reports that,
Women are more likely than men to be prescribed OPR, to use them chronically, and to receive prescriptions for higher doses of OPR. This might be because the most common forms of pain are more prevalent among women, and pain is more intense and of longer duration in women than men. Women also might be more likely than men to engage in “doctor shopping” (receiving a prescription for a controlled substance from multiple providers), and more likely to be prescribed OPR combined with sedatives.
Not only has it been observed that dependence on OPRs is more prevalent in women, the CDC reports that, “Women with substance use disorders are more likely than men to face barriers in access to substance abuse treatment,” – thus perpetuating the problem.
Who is most at risk?
The data from the MMWR states the following:
• Women aged 45–54 years are at the highest risk of dying due to OPR overdose.
• American Indian/Alaska Native and non-Hispanic white women have the highest drug overdose death rates.
• Drug overdose–related suicide deaths account for 34 percent of all suicide deaths among women compared with 8 percent among men.
• OPRs are involved in one in 10 suicides among women.
• North Dakota has the lower rates of age-adjusted drug overdose deaths at 3.9 per 100,000.
• Nevada has the highest rates of age-adjusted drug overdose deaths at 18.5 per 100,000.
There is hope – but action must be taken!
If you know someone suffering from pain or mental disorders, know that there is hope. Contact your local natural health provider and get under conservative, holistic care as soon as possible.
For most people, these issues are completely preventable and reversible. Coaching and guidance with your diet, exercise, and stress management techniques can go a long way to help you regain your life and to take you out of harm’s way for OPR overdose.
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