Florida’s Women at Increased Risk of Opioid Abuse
By The Orlando Recovery Center
Last Updated: April 11, 2023
Editorial Policy | Research Policy
Although there are more men than women who self-report a drug addiction, women are more likely to abuse opioids and become addicted more quickly. There is no single reason why, but rather a complex set of characteristics and tendencies that work in opposition to getting clean and sober for women.
Drug rehab in Florida can help women suffering from an addiction find freedom from opioid abuse. A safe, clinical setting can help you or someone you care about break the cycle and build a new, better life.
How Do Men and Women Differ in Substance Abuse Occurrences?
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIH) says women use drugs in different ways, have different responses to drugs and have different obstacles to effective treatment for drug addiction.
In a study published in the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, the authors say patterns for opioid abuse follow the same use trends as other drugs, with men about three times more likely to have a dependency disorder but women becoming addicted more easily and escalating addiction more quickly.
Why Are Women So Susceptible to Opioid Addiction?
There is no single or simple answer to the opioid addiction crisis for women. NIH suggests that women may be more sensitive to pain and more likely to suffer from a chronic, painful condition than men. That would explain why most opioid addiction in women starts with a legal prescription.
At WebMd, recovering opioid addict Sarah Wilson says her addiction began with a vehicle accident. After a lifetime of never imagining abusing drugs, her life changed at the hands of a drunk driver. The aftermath of her injuries made opioids necessary for pain management, but the prescriptions soon led to an addiction.
Because of the rate of overdose deaths, the overall life expectancy of Florida women is declining.
How Many Florida Women Lose Their Lives to Opioid Addiction?
Tens of thousands of American women have died from an opioid addiction since the late 1990s. The Florida Department of Health says that in 2012, 42.5 percent of overdose deaths in Florida were women. What is more upsetting is that the rate of deaths in female opioid addicts is rising faster than in men. Nearly 80 percent of deaths were unintentional.
The Department also explains that women are prescribed opioids more frequently than men except for the 55-64 age group, where it declines. Prescriptions steadily increase between ages 18 and 54, leveling off around age 55. The top three opioids are prescribed most often are:
- Hydrocodone SA: 14.81 percent
- Oxycodone SA: 10.95 percent
- Tramadol SA: 7.18 percent
As the opioid crisis rages on in Florida, women are especially at risk. They are less likely to seek treatment for numerous reasons, including childcare and other responsibilities. They are also less likely to stay engaged after they enter Florida drug rehab. Fortunately, there is help and hope in the care of trusted professionals who design the right treatment program to fit the needs of women.
Our programs are created for the person, not just for the addiction. Most people with an opioid addiction enter medically assisted detox, then transition into residential care, which offers numerous therapies that help break the cycle of addiction.
If you or any of your loved ones are suffering from an opioid addiction,
contact us. We can help put lives back together.