Prescription Opioid Overdose Deaths in Women Increase Five-Fold in Ten Years

This is a most alarming story

The number of women dying from overdoses of opioid painkillers increased 5-fold between 1999 and 2010, according to new data released today by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The problem of prescription opioid drug overdoses in women is “getting worse and getting worse quickly,” CDC director Tom Frieden, MD, MPH, said during a media briefing.

Deaths due to opioid drugs have “skyrocketed in women; mothers, wives, sisters, and daughters are dying from overdoses at rates we have never seen before,” he noted.

“The increase in opioid overdoses and opioid overdose deaths is directly proportional to the increase in prescribing of painkillers.” Opioid prescriptions are “increasing to an extent that we would not have anticipated and that could not possibly be clinically indicated,” Dr. Frieden added.