New Report Says Middle-Aged Women Are Prescribed More Opioids Than Any Other Group
According to a new report, middle-aged females are prescribed more opioid painkillers than any other group. In fact, they receive twice as many as men in the same age group – a trend that makes them especially susceptible to opioid misuse.
The report examined data from 600 private hospitals and over 78,000 patients and provides new insights into those most affected by the nation’s opioid crisis.
Dr. Jennifer Holder-Murray, co-director of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Enhanced Recovery After Surgery Program via ABC News:
“More people die from prescription opioid overdose than from heroin overdose per year.”
As a result being prescribed the most opioids of any group, females from age 40-59 also have the highest rate of deaths from opioid drugs among women.
In its finding, the report, which was sponsored by Pacira Pharmaceuticals Inc., refers to surgery as a “gateway to persistent opioid use and potential misuse.” It also contends that over-prescribing opioids after surgery results in 3.3 billion leftover pills, which may be privy to drug diverse and abuse.
“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.”
The report, entitled “United States for Non-Dependence: An Analysis of the Impact of Opioid Overprescribing in America” also found that in 2016, almost 3 million patients who had surgery continued to take opioids beyond their post-recovery period.
About The Epidemic
Data recently released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests that in 2016, more than 64,000 people died of a drug overdose. Most involved prescription painkillers or illegal opiates or opioids such as heroin and fentanyl. That is more deaths in one year than throughout the entire Vietnam war.
Also, the CDC estimates that approximately two million people are dependent on prescription opioids, and hundreds of thousands more are addicted to heroin.
~ G. Nathalee Serrels, M.A., Psychology