Number of Women Seeking Emergency Medical Care for Opioid Overdoses Skyrocketing

Number of Women Seeking Emergency Medical Care for Opioid Overdoses Skyrocketing

Photo credit JoePenna via ChairsHunt CC BY

It’s a well-documented fact that opioid addiction is at epidemic levels in the U.S.

And sadly, opioids are equal opportunity addictors – effecting men and women in alarming numbers.

Data from a newly released report shows a huge spike in opioid and heroin related hospital stays for women in the past decade.  The study, published by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), includes data collected from hospitals in 40 U.S. states.

Over the last ten years, rates of hospitalization in America for opioid abuse have risen 75% for women compared to 55% for men.

Interestingly, in the early years of the study, men made up the vast majority of opioid hospital stays.  That pattern no longer holds.  Women are now being hospitalized in equal numbers.

As for emergency room visits, researchers say that rate has doubled for opioid cases during the past ten years.  But in contrast to hospital stays, emergency department visits rose at the same rate for men and women, with men always accounting for more.

The data also shows that opioid users aged 25-44 appear to have the highest emergency room admission rates across the U.S.

The highest rates of opioid hospitalization among women were recorded in the states of Maryland, West Virginia, and Massachusetts.

For men, the top rates were seen in New York, Maryland and the District of Columbia.

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Photo credit JoePenna via ChairsHunt  CC BY.jpg