Middle-Aged Women Experiencing Increase in Death from Painkiller Overdose

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says middle-aged women account for the fastest growing share of painkiller drug overdose deaths, increasing more than 400 percent among women since 1999. Approximately 18 women die everyday from a prescription painkiller overdose in the United States.

The CDC’s Dr. Thomas Frieden says doctors are prescribing too many of these drugs.

“These are really troubling numbers,” he says. “I think there has been a trend in the medical profession and we need to work to reverse that trend.”

Frieden says painkillers are dangerous medications.

“Patients given just a single course may become addicted for life,” he says. “We have a real need to better understand and ensure that we use these [painkillers] only when necessary.”

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