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Alarming New Stats About Women And The Opioid Crisis

Tragically, this country’s opioid crisis holds no bounds and it is mercilessly ripping lives (and families) apart. Tens of thousands of Americans are succumbing to painkiller and heroin overdoses each year, with women playing an increasingly larger role. According to new statistics released by Forbes Magazine; U.S. females now account for 33 percent of all opioid-related fatalities, which is an alarming jump from where that stat sat earlier in the decade.

The total number of women who died from an opioid-related overdoses last year was 42,249. Back in 1999, when the crisis was in its infancy, the stat was a mere 8,050. And worse yet, the figures are expected to rise significantly again when 2018’s tallies are counted.

How bad is this situation? So bad, that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have officially recognized the threat that this crisis is having for American females. They, themselves, released a statement about it earlier in the year. “Prescription painkiller overdoses are an under-recognized and growing problem for women,” a rep from the organization said. “And the gap between women and men is closing quickly.”

The Centers went on to emphasize which segments of American women are now most at risk. Their research showed that U.S. females between the ages of 25 and 44 are the most susceptible to forming an opioid addiction. Interestingly though, they singled out women aged 45 to 54 as having the highest likelihood for a fatal overdose.

There is also the pregnancy component. In our opinion this deserves a very high level of attention, as mothers who use are putting multiple lives at risk. Recent opioid stats show that in 2012 alone, more than 20,000 infants were born with signs of addiction withdrawal.

Forbes writer Aparna Mathur did a great job of digging not only into the statistics, but also the reasons as to why female opioid abuse is rising so fast. One major point is that females may be more likely to be prescribed painkillers and for longer periods of time. Other theories have to do with caregiving and issues like postpartum depression and anxiety. This alone could place women at a greater risk of substance abuse.

Clearly we cannot stereotype or speculate about all of the reasons behind this shift, but the facts are the facts. 42,000 women lost to this crisis is reason alone to bring this topic to the forefront. While there certainly needs to be steps taken at a national level to combat opioid abuse, we at inneractions want to do our part too. That is why we proudly offer Sobriety Groups For Women on the first and third Tuesday of every month. Our door is always open and we highly encourage anyone who needs help to reach out. (818) 571-9841