Why is the Opioid Crisis Hitting Women Particularly Hard?
There can no longer be any uncertainty – the entire country is right in the middle of an opioid crisis. What is uncertain though, is why the opioid crisis seems to be hitting women particularly hard.
There’s no disputing the figures. Between 1999 and 2016 the death rate as a result of overdoses from prescription opioids increased by a staggering 471 percent for women. This is in comparison to an increase of 218 percent in regards to male opioid-overdose victims.
The Loss of Women Due to Opioid Dependency is Having Profound Effects on Local Communities
Opioid overdoses are having a profound effect on many communities where men are still seen as the breadwinners and women are traditionally the family-raisers and community organizers. Not only are women becoming addicted to opioids, they are increasingly having to ‘step in’ to fill the void left by others who are struggling with opioid dependency.
“It’s disproportionately affecting women in a growing way, and by affecting women, it’s affecting families,” said Dr. Dave Campbell, a Florida-based surgeon. “There are a whole bunch of ways we can look at that: The incarceration rate for women has gone up 50 percent since the start of the opioid crisis. Heroin addiction has gone up 30 percent for women from 2010 to 2013.” Dr. Campbell has, in the past, testified before Congress about the opioid crisis.
The Opioid Crisis is Indirectly Affecting the Lives of Newborns and Teenagers
Some women give birth while they are addicted to opioids, and such newborn babies may be born with neonatal abstinence syndrome. In effect, the baby is born already addicted to opioids and then has to go through the withdrawal process as they no longer share their mother’s blood. Teenagers are typically at risk too, as their brains are not yet developed enough to understand the long-term consequences of taking any kind of mind-altering substance, and they become addicted before they understand the damage they are doing to themselves.
Dr. Campbell has called for a more understanding and less judgmental way of dealing with those who have developed opioid dependency before opioids begin to devastate entire communities in addition to individual lives.
If you feel you have been affected by the opioid crisis, or if you would like to learn about our approach to dealing with the ravaging effects of opioid addiction through our unique rapid opiate detox, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team by phone today at (800) 603-1813.