A recent study showed hospitalizations for opioid abuse increased 55 percent among men, compared to 75 percent among women between 2005 and 2014. Also, overdose deaths from prescription painkillers spiked 218 percent for men, but soared over 471 percent in women between 1999 and 2015. In response, the United States Department of Health and Human Services awarded 16 grants nationwide to prevent and reduce opioid addiction among women.
Dr. Vanila Singh, the chief medical officer in Office of the Assistant Secretary at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, said there’s a biological reason for women’s vulnerability.
“The CDC had a report that showed women are more susceptible to chronic pain, and may perhaps experience pain differently, leading to an increase in opiate use in higher doses for a longer period of time,” Dr. Singh said.
Two New Jersey groups received grants, including the Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine and the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence of Middlesex. Meanwhile, Gov. Chris Christie’s national opioid commission is slated to release its first report on Monday, with recommendations for the president that could target over-prescription by doctors.