Death rates soar among women using prescription drugs

December 29, 2013
by Cindy Uken
Billings Gazette

Women throughout the nation are dying at an unprecedented rate from prescription drug overdoses.

So many are dying that it's been called a public health epidemic.

In fact, since 2007, more women have died annually from drug overdoses than from auto accidents, according to the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Although more men die from drug overdoses than women, the percentage increase in deaths since 1999 is greater among women, according to the CDC.

In 2010, the deaths of at least 15,323 women were attributed to a drug overdose, a rate of 9.8 per 100,000 population. Deaths from opioid pain relievers increased fivefold between 1999 and 2010 for women. For men, the rate increased by 3.6 times.

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