In the Media: New Study Shows Women are Hit Hardest as Opioid Epidemic Sweeps the Country

In the Media: New Study Shows Women are Hit Hardest as Opioid Epidemic Sweeps the Country

"Much attention has been paid to the problem of men suffering from substance use disorder, but concern for women who become dependent on opioid painkillers has fallen short. From 1999 until 2010, fatal overdoses from prescription pain medications rose by 400% among female patients, compared to a 237% increase in fatal overdoses in male populations. "The proportion of women using illicit drugs is also increasing at a faster rate than of men, but physician referrals to appropriate detox and treatment facilities are low. Only 3.2% of women are referred to detox programs, regardless of whether or not they would like such a referral. While women are more likely to receive individual counseling, they are less likely to take advantage of detox programs, even if they are referred to such programs. "Kent Runyon, Compliance Officer and Vice President of Community Relations for Novus Medical Detox Center, explained, 'For women, there are different factors that contribute to the development of long-term substance use disorders that men simply do not experience. It is critically important to get women who are struggling with substance use disorders into appropriate detox programs, where they can take the critically important initial steps on the path toward recovery.'"

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