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2 Shocking Studies That Reveal Women’s Experience Of Opioid Addiction

Women experience opioid addiction differently than men do. In fact, women experience opioid addiction worse than men do. Unfortunately, the stigma and stereotype of the female opioid addict gets in the way of women’s opioid addiction being given the attention it rightly deserves. Learn more from these two shocking studies on women and opioid addiction.

Women Are More Likely To Be Prescribed Opioids

For many women, opioid prescription doesn’t begin on the streets, but in a doctor’s office. Prescription opioids are written to women more often than they are to men, found a 2010 study published in the American Journal of Public Health. A major contributing factor in the opioid epidemic is the longevity of someone’s prescription opioid use. The 2010 study found that women are more likely to continue using their prescription opioids long term. Numerous exposes have disclosed that popular prescription opioids do not have the long lasting effect they are supposed to. Moreover, they do not reduce the amount of time patients take the medication. Instead, patients, especially women, build up a tolerance to the drug quickly. Women continue to take their opioids because their body becomes more sensitive to pain the more they take the medication- abusing the medication or not.

Women Have More Pain, Get More Painkillers, Get More Addicted Than Men

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, called the CDC, regularly collects and analyzes data which provide important statistics for the public. In one study, the CDC looked at trends of prescription overdose and addiction among men and women. The study found that women:

  • Are more likely to have chronic pain than men
  • Will be prescribed opioid painkillers more often than men
  • Will be prescribed opioid painkillers at higher doses than men
  • Will become chemically dependent on painkillers more quickly than men

In the year 2015, nearly 50,000 people died of opioid overdose in America. That number went up in 2016, when more than 60,000 people died of opioid overdose. According to the study by the CDC, from 1999 to 2010, 48,000 women died from prescription-related overdose. Even more alarming, the study revealed that within that same time period, prescription overdose deaths increased more than 400% among women. For men, the increase in overdose deaths was only 237%.

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