Have prescription painkillers increased death rates in white women in the United States?
Over the past 15 years, death rates among white women in the United States have surged. New research blames prescription painkillers. - The Washington Post9 Apr 2015
Between 1999 and 2011, death rates climbed substantially among only white women, ages 15 to 54. A study from the Urban Institute, attributed half the rise to “accidental poisoning,” or drug overdoses.
Painkillers/opioids have become increasingly accessible over the past two decades. Prescriptions have increased tenfold since 1990, according to a recent Harvard Medical School report, whilst medical providers noted 259 million prescriptions in 2012, “enough for every American adult to have a bottle of pills,” as estimated by the CDC.
Only 3.3 per 100,000 white women died from opioid-related complications in 1999, according to the Urban Institute report. That number surged to 15.9 per 100,000 white women in 2011.
Future research will examine Hispanic and other racial populations.
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