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Mudford, England by Ralph Teller
Ralph Teller

Painkiller (Opioid, eg. Oxycontin) Use and Overdose Epidemic among Women
by Ralph Teller


Death from Painkiller Use up 500% among Women

The number of women dying from overdoses of opioid painkillers (Oxycontin, Vicotin) increased 5-fold between 1999 and 2010, according to the Center for Disease Control. The increase in opioid overdoses and opioid overdose deaths is directly proportional to the increase in prescribing of painkillers. Apparently, the problem of prescription painkiller drug overdoses in women is getting worse quickly.

Painkillers such as Oxycontin and Vicotin are being overprescribed.

More women are dying from painkiller overdose than from cervical cancer. Now, more women die from overdose of painkillers than from car accidents or from heroin and coccaine combined.

"Mothers, wives, sisters and daughters are dying from overdoses and at a rate we have not seen before", says Center for Disease Control Center Director Tom Frieden.

Also, use of painkillers by pregnant women can put their infant at risk.

Social Factors Encouraging Opioid Use

Painkillers are risky and very addictive drugs which should only be prescribed for people in severe pain, such as people with chronic cancer pain.

These risky drugs are being prescribed for more incidental instances of pain, instead of healthy therapies such as physical therapy, exercise and cognitive therapies which can be very effective in combatting pain.

It is complicated how we got to this state of affairs. But, here are some contributing factors.

Medical Profession. The medical profession has for the last 25 years increasingly relied more on medications and supplement for treatment instead of seeking first natural solutions. Why is this? In part, doctors rely on software which now determine their standard of care for treating their patients. These software products invariably recommend the use of prescription drugs and medications. Natural therapies are often not even mentioned.

Main Stream Media and the Drug Industry Alliance. The drug industry heavily advertises with the major newspapers, radio and TV stations. The drug industry is a major source of revenue for these media outlets. Is it convenience these media outlets will not report the involvement of medications underlying news events? For instance, most of the recent mass murders, like Columbine, where conducted by people using mood altering medications like antidepressants or ADHD drugs. The media would not report this medication connection.

A Pill will Solve your Problem Mindset. There has crept into our culture a belief that taking a pill can solve your problems. Perhaps this mindset has some roots when school administrators and teachers recommend some students would benefit from taking mood altering medications to contol a student's energy levels and focus. These recommendations send the message that pills can solve life's problems and challenges. Don't high energy students instead need guidance to harness their energy? Maturing.

Psychiatrist and Mental Health Care Providers. Mental Health Care Providers have been over prescribing antidepressants and other mood altering drugs to their patients over the past 30 years. It's been established that these medications in most instances are not effective in treating depression and have numerous dangerous side effects. This institutionalized practice creates the belief in the public that pills solve problems.

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