Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Prescription Painkiller Overdoses

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, prescription painkiller overdoses have become an epidemic, especially among women.

Between 1999 and 2010, nearly 48,000 women died of prescription painkiller overdoses. Deaths from these overdoses among women have increased more than 400 percent since 1999 compared to 265 percent among men.

This under-recognized and growing problem for women results in approximately 18 women dying every day in the United States. However, health care providers can help improve the way painkillers are prescribed in order to assist women in having access to safe and effective pain treatment.

When prescribing painkillers, health care providers can use prescription drug monitoring programs to identify patients who may be improperly obtaining or using prescription painkillers and other drugs. They can also recognize that women are at risk of prescription painkiller overdose and follow guidelines for responsible prescribing, including screening and monitoring for substance abuse and mental health problems.

Women should discuss all medications they are taking with their health care provider and only use prescription drugs as directed.

Snyder and Wenner, P.C.
2200 E Camelback Road
Suite 213
Phoenix, AZ 85016

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