A new report found that surgery may be the gateway to opioid dependence for middle-aged women.
“The opioid epidemic is killing people in all demographics across the United States, but a new report shows that middle-aged women are prescribed the most opioids—nearly double the amount that middle-aged men are given—and that this group is also at high risk for developing dependence and addiction.
The report, entitled, “United States for Non-Dependence,” analyzed opiate prescribing around the country using data from 78,000 patients at 600 hospitals. The report found that women ages 40 to 59 are at high risk, a demographic that most people don’t consider likely to become addicted.
The report also found that opioid use is strongly tied to surgery. Three million people become consistent opioid users each year, continuing the drugs for longer than their initial prescription. Colectomy and knee replacements were the procedures that left patients most vulnerable to long-term opioid use.
“What’s startling and really bothersome in this study is the number of patients that are on opioids well after the surgery’s been completed,” said Dr. Jennifer Holder-Murray, co-director of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Enhanced Recovery After Surgery Program.”
Source: TheFix.com – September 29, 2017