The Center for Disease Control just released a study that showed that women in the United States are dying from drug overdoses and drug abuse at a disturbingly high rate. In 2010 alone, over 15,000 deaths among women were attributed to drug overdose. While more men have died from drug overdoses since 1999, women’s deaths have increased at a higher rate.
In 2010, there were nearly one million emergency visits by women for drug overdose or abuse. The highest emergency room visit rates were for cocaine or heroin (147.2 per 100,000 population), benzodiazepines (134.6), and OPR (129.6). Emergency visits related to misuse or abuse of OPR among women more than doubled between 2004 and 2010. The number of women dying because of opioid pain relievers increasing fivefold!
One reason why this high rate of increase for women is because the CDC reported that women may be more likely than men to engage in “doctor shopping.” Doctor shopping is when a woman actively seeking out prescription drugs from multiple prescribers in order to properly feed their addiction.
Sadly, more women have died each year from drug overdoses than from motor vehicle–related injuries since 2007. Psychotherapeutic drugs like benzodiazepines are what fuel many of the deaths and emergency room visits related to OPR.
As we mentioned in one of our previous posts, prescription drug abuse is much more difficult for friends and family to detect. It’s not uncommon to find prescription drugs in someone’s cabinet. Differentiating prescription drug abuse is not as simple as heroin might be.
If you do suspect a friend of family member might be abusing or addicted to prescription drugs, look for these warning signs:
- Fails to meet obligations at home/works/school.
- Continues to use drugs even after social or interpersonal problems inflicted by drugs.
- Has legal issues that stem from drug use but continues to use drugs.
- Develops withdrawal symptoms like sweating/shaking when drugs are not taken.
- Takes large amounts of drugs or for a longer period of time than prescribed.
The numbers reported by the CDC represent a very scary trend. As a society, we all need to chip in to help decrease these numbers of women running into drug addiction. At Prominence Treatment Center, we do our part by offering our Non 12-Step treatment program, which can help women (and men) overcome addiction. If you or someone you know might be in trouble with prescription drugs, do not hesitate to reach out to one of our representatives today. 877-383-2284