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
- 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!