As the government begins to fan the spark for treatment programs, opioid addictions continue to elude these initiatives as studies show just how vast this drug trend is.
In 2015, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a report that correlated the widespread of prescription drugs among women ages 15 to 44. According to the press release, the most commonly prescribed medications among women of reproductive age were hydrocodone, codeine, and oxycodone.
In the release, CDC researchers compared the number of women who filled a prescription opioid medication from 2008 to 2012. The results of the study found that 39 percent of Medicaid-enrolled women filled a prescription pill medication from an outpatient clinic each year in comparison to 29 percent of women with private health insurance.
The study revealed an overall trend in addictive behaviors among women. Depending on the race, ethnicity or geographic location of the woman, the chances for an opioid addiction were higher.
Let’s dig deeper into the relationship between a seemingly fragile gender and an aggressive drug.
Women Become New Targets for Pharma Marketing
According to the Washington Post’s analysis, in the past 15 years, white women’s death rates have increased much faster than any other demographic in the US. In particular, white women living in rural areas, between the ages of 45 and 49, are more likely to die from a drug overdose than suicide.
The opioid problems haunting white women in these areas have several alliances including Purdue Pharma marketing safer prescription pills to women dealing with stress or chronic pain.
Yet, there are still discrepancies when it comes to white women being prescribed prescription pills more often than black or Hispanic women. In an analysis done by the Washington Post, it was found that female participants in a National Health and Nutrition Examination survey were five times more likely to be prescribed a combination of opiates than men.
“An opioid might be prescribed by a pain specialist while a general practitioner of a psychologist may prescribe benzodiazepine. They may not know about one another,” said Deborah Dowell, lead author of the CDC’s new opioid guidelines in the WashingtonPost’s article, “Risky Alone, Deadly Together.”
Earlier this year, the CDC released a warning to doctors against prescribing opioids along with benzodiazepines to patients not suffering with life-threatening diseases, such as cancer.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) also started requiring warning labels on opioids and benzos, instructing patients about the dangers of mixing the two drugs.
But as middle-age white women living in desolate areas continue to face death in the midst of a reckless drug problem, only one question lends itself to the climbing epidemic: Who’s next?
Need Help Finding Treatment?
If you, or a loved one, are suffering from a prescription pill addiction, California Highlands is here to help. Call our 24-7 specialists today to get the right assistance you need to get your life back on track. Call (844) 318-0074 and begin your path to recovery.