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
Phoenix, AZ 85016