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CDC: Deaths From Prescription Painkiller Overdoses Rise Sharply Among Women
(CDC news release) The number of prescription painkiller overdose deaths increased five fold among women between 1999 and 2010, according to a Vital Signs report released this week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
According to a news release from the CDC:
About 42 women die every day from a drug overdose.
Since 2007, more women have died from drug overdoses than from motor vehicle crashes.
Drug overdose suicide deaths accounted for 34 percent of all suicides among women compared with 8 percent among men in 2010.
More than 940,000 women were seen in emergency departments for drug misuse or abuse in 2010.
Prescription painkillers have been a major contributor to increases in drug overdose deaths among women.
More than 6,600 women, or 18 women every day, died from a prescription painkiller overdose in 2010.
There were four times more deaths among women from prescription painkiller overdose than for cocaine and heroin deaths combined in 2010.
In 2010, there were more than 200,000 emergency department visits for opioid misuse or abuse among women; about one every three minutes.
Using their states’ prescription drug monitoring program; this can help identify patients who may be improperly using opioids and other drugs.
Discussing pain treatment options, including ones that do not involve prescription drugs.
Discussing the risks and benefits of taking prescription painkillers including when painkillers are taken for chronic conditions, and especially during pregnancy.
Avoiding prescribing combinations of prescription painkillers and benzodiazepines unless there is a specific medical indication.
Discussing all medications they are taking with their health care provider, including over-the-counter medications (such as for allergies).
Discussing pregnancy plans with their health care provider before taking prescription painkillers.
Disposing of medications properly, as soon as the course of treatment is done. Not keeping prescription medications around “just in case.”
Helping prevent misuse and abuse by not selling or sharing prescription drugs. Never using another person’s prescription drugs.
Getting help for substance abuse problems (1-800-662-HELP) and calling Poison Help (1-800-222-1222) with questions about medicines.
HERE'S WHAT THE MEDIA IS SAYING
New York Times: Sharp Rise in Women's Deaths From Overdose of Painkillers