Prescription Drug Abuse Behind Increasing Death Rates Among Young White Women

Despite efforts by various advocacy groups, prescription drug abuse continues to rise. In fact, a study carried out by the Urban Institute recently found that prescription drug abuse may be responsible for a considerable increase in the death rate of white American women between the ages of 15 and 54.

The trend is so prevalent that it has been called the opioid epidemic. The CDC previously reported a 400% rise in deaths caused by prescription drug abuse since 1999.

Here’s what Kansas City employers need to know about this disturbing trend.

Prescription Drug Abuse Proving Fatal for Women

The study focused on a 15 year time period beginning in 1999. Researchers discovered that while death rates rose across the board during that time, the only significant change was in the category of white women between 15 and 54. The dramatic rise was attributed to the burgeoning number of drug overdoses, also referred to as accidental poisonings.In 1999, 3.3 out of 100,000 women died as a result of prescription drug abuse. That number was up to 15.9 by 2011. Researchers were able to offer thoughts on why these numbers have climbed so steeply, and why they believe that prescription drug abuse is to blame.

Stress to Blame for High Prescription Drug Abuse Rates?Prescription Drugs

One of the authors of the study says that prescription drug abuse is on the rise in this population because of extreme stress levels. White women are relying on prescription drug abuse to help them cope with being single parents and major breadwinners.

Is Over-Prescription an Issue?

Analysis suggests that prescription drug abuse is also on the rise thanks to a trend in medical professionals prescribing opioids, which are usually the substance of choice among recreational users. Estimates state that since 1990, doctors have increased opioid prescriptions tenfold. This means that more people than ever are susceptible to prescription drug abuse.

Monitoring Prescription Drug Abuse

Lucky for Kansas City employers, Test Smartly Labs of Kansas City North provides a way for employers and physicians to monitor individuals suspected of prescription drug abuse — including women who may be abusing opiods.

Our prescription monitoring services and workplace drug testing can help businesses and medical professionals ensure that prescription drug abuse isn’t occurring on their watch.

To learn more about our drug testing, contact Test Smartly Labs of Kansas City North today at (816) 399-4597.


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