The fastest growing victims of the opioid crisis: middle-aged women
Tragically, the rate at which middle-aged women are overdosing on anti-depressants and opioids is on the rise. There is a common misconception that someone in their 50s or 60s cannot become addicted to opioids, especially if taken in accordance with a doctor's prescription. Plus, most studies emphasize data points among young people, particularly in the under 18 and 18-25 demographics.
According to the study cited by Considerable.com, from 1999 to 2017 the rate of overdose deaths in women age 50 to 54 increased by 350%. For women in the 55 to 64 age group, overdose deaths were up close to 500%. The numbers are staggering when isolating the data points to women ages 55 to 64 who overdosed and died from prescription opioids alone. This number jumped 1000% from 1999 to 2017.
This article discusses how problems with drugs for women can start with a health crisis, or just as easily a struggle to cope with a stressor like the death of a parent, or to deal with the competing demands of a career and children—even adult children. Often, these women who misuse or abuse prescription drugs do not see their behavior as addiction. Instead, they see it as a way of coping.
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