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Sharp Rise in Women’s Deaths from Overdose of Painkillers

Prescription Painkillers

Story at-a-glance -

  • Deaths from prescription painkiller overdoses have increased five-fold among women from 1999 to 2010
  • There were four times more deaths among women from prescription painkiller overdose than from cocaine and heroin deaths combined in 2010
  • Many people find themselves addicted to painkillers before they even realize what’s happened, often after taking the drugs to recover from surgery or treat chronic back, or other, pain
  • Painkillers typically work by binding to receptors in your brain to decrease the perception of pain, but they also create a feeling of euphoria that can easily lead to physical dependence and addiction
  • Large doses of the painkillers can cause sedation and slowed breathing to the point that breathing stops altogether, resulting in death
  • If you are suffering from pain, work with a knowledgeable health care practitioner to determine what's really triggering your pain, and then address the underlying cause while using non-drug alternatives to relieve your pain in the meantime

By Dr. Mercola

Deaths from prescription painkiller overdoses are “skyrocketing” among women, according to a new report from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that found such deaths have increased five-fold from 1999 to 2010.


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