Prescription Painkiller Overdoses: A Growing Epidemic, Especially Among Women

prescriiption padPrescription drug overdose deaths have skyrocketed in women. Our mothers, wives, sisters and daughters are dying from these overdoses at rates never seen before. 

Consider these numbers: Prescription painkiller overdose deaths increased fivefold among women between 1999 and 2010. While men are more likely to die of a prescription painkiller overdose, since 1999 the percentage increase in deaths was greater among women (400 percent in women compared to 265 percent in men). Prescription painkiller overdoses killed nearly 48,000 women between 1999 and 2010. About 42 women die every day from a drug overdose.

Previous research has shown that women are more likely to have chronic pain, be prescribed prescription painkillers, be given higher doses, and use them for longer time periods than men.

 Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – July 2013