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Women and Prescription Painkiller Addiction

Addiction Treatment
Jan Trobisch

Jan Trobisch

Over the past 15 years, death rates attributed to prescription painkiller overdoses in women have increased by 400 percent. In comparison, rates of men dying from overdosing on prescription painkillers have increased by a much smaller margin — 265 percent. Another staggering statistic reveals that nearly 20 women die each day due to prescription painkiller misuse. For every one woman succumbing to painkillers (narcotic/opioid pain relievers containing hydrocodone, oxycodone or methadone), 30 other women require hospital emergency room attention for painkiller abuse or overdose.

Why are Women Vulnerable to Suffering Prescription Painkiller Addictions?

Addiction to any drug is a complex issue that cannot be blamed on one or two factors. Instead, healthcare professionals specializing in this type of addiction suggest this epidemic is fueled by one or more of the following:

  • Women seem to experience the sensation of pain more intensely than men. Research suggests that differences between men and women involving genetics, psychological factors, hormones and pain systems may promote prescription painkiller addictions in women.
  • Women are more likely to seek pain relief from their doctors than men. They are also more frequently prescribed prescription opioids at higher doses, as well.
  • “Doctor shopping” behavior (receiving pain prescriptions from multiple physicians) is seen much more in women than men.
  • Studies of women in addiction programs designed to treat prescription painkiller addictions found that women are more likely than men to suffer psychological and physical issues and have family histories of psychiatric problems.

Signs of Being Addicted to Prescription Painkillers

  • Neglecting responsibilities to family, work or school (getting fired from your job, isolating yourself from children or spouses, frequently fighting with a spouse over the condition of your household)
  • Taking dangerous risks while high on prescription painkillers (driving, working around machinery, caring for young children, engaging in unprotected sex)
  • You have been arrested for driving under the influence, theft to support your addiction, disorderly conduct or other infractions associated with addictive behavior
  • You no longer take an interest in personal hygiene
  • Your thoughts and actions are always centered on making sure you have a ready supply of painkillers
  • You need to take more and more pills to feel high (tolerance)
  • You suffer withdrawal symptoms if you run out of painkillers (nausea, sweating, joint pain, anxiety, insomnia)
  • You deny you are addicted to prescription painkillers when confronted about your problem by a spouse, family member or friend

Get Immediate, Professional Help for a Prescription Painkiller Addiction

A prescription painkiller addict rarely overcomes their addiction alone. Although you might successfully wean yourself off the drug, powerful cravings eventually return that you cannot resist. This happens because the root cause of the addiction has not been adequately addressed by addiction specialists who understand the biopsychosocial reasons women suffer from an addiction to painkillers.

We can help you get your life back and show you how to keep that life sober, peaceful and satisfying. Call  (661) 529-7075  Synergy Recovery Services today to speak to a staff member about our prescription painkiller addiction recovery programs.

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