Opioid Abuse Increasing in Older White Women

While heroin overdoses are more common among blacks, prescription painkillers overdoses are more common among middle-aged, white females, according to findings reported at the American Public Health Association meeting, according to a MedPage Today report.

Although prescription drug abuse has often been seen as a rural problem, urban hospitals saw 26 percent more prescription opioid abuse cases than rural hospitals, according to Jay Unick, PhD, of the University of Maryland's School of Social Work, and his colleagues. The study, funded by the National Institutes of Health, looked at data from the Nationwide Inpatient Survey and included data from five to eight million hospital admissions to 20% of U.S. community hospitals.

While hospitalizations for heroin remained the same from 1997-2007, the hospitalizations for prescription opioid rose from two per 100,000 people in 1993 to more than 12 per 100,000 people in 2007.

Related Articles on Prescription Drug Abuse:
Oregon's High Rate of Pain Drug Abuse Linked to Heavy Prescribing
Opioid Pain Reliever Overdose Kills More than Heroin and Cocaine Combined
Dr. Scott Glaser: The Need for Interconnected Prescription Monitoring Programs

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