Prescription Drug Deaths in Women

Posted By Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law

19 Nov. 2014

According to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the instances of deaths from prescription drugs in women has greatly increased since 1990. By 2010, 18 women died each day due to prescription drug overdoses. This accounts for half of all overdose deaths.

Women Increasingly Involved in Prescription Drug Deaths

Since 2007, drug overdose deaths for women have been higher than those that are involved in car crashes, with 6,600 women dying in 2010 alone. Women between the ages of 45 to 54 were at the highest risk for overdosing. The CDC estimates that for every one woman that dies from prescription pills, 30 are hospitalized for misuse or addiction.

Important statistics on women and prescription addiction include:

  • Women aged 25-54 are most likely to visit the emergency room for prescription painkillers
  • 10% of women that commit suicide do so using prescription painkillers
  • One woman goes to the emergency room every 10 minutes for prescription medication misuse across the United States

Since this has become a larger problem for women across the United States, the CDC is asking for records to be kept on prescription addiction and is working to implement policies to curb addiction.

How Medical Professionals May Contribute

One of the explanations given as to why women experience such a high rate of prescription drug deaths is due to the fact that women have an increased likelihood of developing chronic pain. Medical professionals will often prescribe higher doses of this medication to women over longer periods of time, which can contribute to addiction.

Further, more people are comfortable using prescription medication since it comes from trusted doctors and pharmacists. Oftentimes they do not realize that these medications can cause serious complications and may be even more harmful than some common illegal narcotics.

If a woman is experiencing symptoms of addiction to prescriptions, it is the responsibility of trusted healthcare professionals to take notice and stop prescribing the medication.

Sometimes a doctor may be at fault for not following proper prescription drug protocol before prescribing medication. If a prescribing doctor did not take care to assess a person's susceptibility to abusing prescription drugs, they may be held liable for prescription addiction or death.

If you or a loved one feels as though a doctor acted improperly when they prescribed medication, give our firm's personal injury lawyers a call!

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