Opioids

Discover how the opioid epidemic uniquely affects women's health.

Fact Sheets

Opioid dependency is a bodily adaptation that is likely to disproportionately affect women, because they are more likely to develop opioid dependency in a shorter period of time, compared to men.

Women are more likely than men to experience chronic pain and use prescription opioid pain medications for longer periods and in higher doses.

Browse Opioids fact sheets, articles, FAQs and more:

Filter Results

  • Filter by Category:

  • Sort by:

Results for:

The opioid crisis is big news these days, and with good reason. In 2017 alone, there were 70,237 drug overdose deaths, two-thirds of which involved opioids.i Accidental drug overdose is the leading cause of death in the U.S. among people under age 50.ii 

Women Bear the Greater Burden of the Opioid Epidemic

By: Scott McDougall , Deep Dive Articles

The United States is in the grip of an opioid epidemic. It has been declared a public health emergency, and the US government is launching a campaign to raise awareness of this issue. But one thing such campaigns fail to...

Hanging on to Old Opioids? No Judgment—We Are Too.

By: Maggie Gorini , Deep Dive Articles

Based on an informal poll of 9 staff members, 4 of us admitted to having an old bottle of unfinished opioids on the shelf at home, gathering maybe its 10th year of dust. But how could that be? Aren’t we...

Opioid dependency is a bodily adaptation that is likely to disproportionately affect women, because they are more likely to develop opioid dependency in a shorter period of time, compared to men.

Adriane just had dental surgery and the surgeon provided a prescription for Tylenol with codeine. When she told him that opioids were not better than over-the-counter (OTC) painkillers for dental pain, the surgeon argued, “But it’s such a weak opioid.”...

Women are more likely than men to experience chronic pain and use prescription opioid pain medications for longer periods and in higher doses. Updated: May 31, 2018

Rx for Change: Alternatives for Chronic Pain

By: Adriane Fugh-Berman and Charlea Massion ,, , , , Deep Dive Articles

We’ve previously discussed the risks of opioids, and how pharmaceutical companies have encouraged over-prescription of these drugs that has created an opioid addiction epidemic. But what’s a person in pain to do? Updated: Jan 29, 2018

Women & the Opioid Epidemic

By: Megan Whiteman, Alycia Hogenmiller, and Adriane Fugh-Berman ,, Deep Dive Articles

The number of Americans who die from drug overdoses has doubled since 1999, and drug overdoses are now thought to be the leading cause of death among Americans under 50.1

Back when we were in training, more than 30 years ago, opioids were considered dangerous drugs that could cause addiction and life-threatening respiratory depression. Medical students were taught that opioids were very useful for end-of-life pain (especially for cancer, which...