Women are more likely than men to experience chronic pain, and thus to receive painkiller prescriptions at higher doses and over longer periods of time. They’re also more likely to take antianxiety medications that can be lethal in combination with pain pills. “These are dangerous medications,” Frieden said. In many cases, he said, “the risks far outweigh the benefits.”
Also, the number of women ending up in hospital emergency rooms who have overdosed on opiod painkillers such as Vicodin and Oxycontin is also increasing. It’s uncertain just how many women had used medications they obtained illegally and how many were actually prescribed it. But studies have shown that the increase in deaths from drug overdoses directly parallels an increase in pain medication prescriptions.
Many of those who become addicted to prescription pain medications started taking the drugs not to get high, but to control pain – often back pain. The solution, then, may be to avoid taking the medications to begin with, an option many doctors neglect to offer to their pain patients. If you are suffering from chronic pain, it is more beneficial that you work with a knowledgeable health care provider to determine what’s really causing your pain, and then address the underlying cause.