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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Sharp Rise in Drug Overdoses Among U.S. Women: CDC

By Steven Reinberg
MedicineNet.com
Originally posted July 2, 2013

The rate of fatal overdoses of prescription painkillers and other drugs among U.S. women quadrupled between 1999 and 2010, federal officials reported Tuesday.

Long thought of as primarily a male problem, drug addiction is increasingly affecting women, and the new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 42 women in the United States die each day from prescription drug overdoses.

"Prescription drug overdose deaths have skyrocketed in women," CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden said during a noon press conference. "Mothers, wives, sisters and daughters are dying from overdoses at rates we have never seen before."

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Other statistics, based on 2010 data:

  • Suicides from these drugs accounted for 34 percent of all suicides among women, compared with 8 percent among men.
  • More than 940,000 women were seen in emergency departments for drug misuse or abuse.
  • More than 6,600 women, or 18 women every day, died from a prescription painkiller overdose.
  • Narcotic painkillers accounted for four times more deaths among women than deaths linked to cocaine and heroin combined.
  • More than 200,000 emergency department visits were for misuse or abuse of these drugs among women -- about one every three minutes.

The entire story is here.
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