It’s now called an epidemic by health officials: the overuse of prescription painkillers – narcotics like opioids to be exact, drugs with names like Vicodin and OxyContin, among others. And now, a new report has found that women in particular are overdosing on pain killers at an alarming pace.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), women’s painkiller overdose deaths are up nearly 400 percent over the last decade. Think about this: more women now die of overdoses from pain pills like OxyContin than from cervical cancer or homicide. Women who are ages 45 to 54 are at the highest risk of dying from taking too many painkillers.
Why women? Part of the reason women are so vulnerable is that they are more likely to be in chronic pain. Doctors say women are more likely to be given painkillers as a first remedy, to be given higher doses and use them longer. That is a mixture that can spell disaster to anyone who has suffered chronic pain.
Yet I find women to be much better at handling pain than men. We have a higher pain threshold. But we also go to the doctor more frequently and tend to trust our doctors when they reach for the RX pad and write something that will help us end the pain cycle.
But a growing number of both women and men are finding safer alternatives to using powerful pain killing medications. When my foot and ankle began to hurt recently, I turned to micro-technology to help relieve my pain rather than my medicine cabinet. Normally, I would have taken an over the counter pain medication or turned to something even stronger. The pain was severe and was making it hard for me to walk or even get comfortable.
I used a simple drug-free treatment called ActiPatch® Therapy, which uses Bioelectroceutical™ technology to reduce pain and inflammation. I used adhesive tape to put the loop right on my swollen ankle when I went to bed. By the next morning, the swelling was visibly reduced and my pain was gone and I could move my foot once again with very little discomfort.