Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office on Women’s Health (OWH) released the Final Report: Opioid Use, Misuse, and Overdose in Women. The report examines the prevention, treatment, and recovery issues for women who misuse, have use disorders, and/or overdose on opioids. It also presents findings and takeaways from OWH’s national and regional opioid meetings held in 2016.
Opioid use disorder is increasing at alarming rates for both men and women in the United States. The prevalence of prescription opioid and heroin use among women is substantial. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, between 1999 and 2015, the rate of deaths from prescription opioid overdoses increased 471% among women, compared to an increase of 218% among men. In the same time period, heroin deaths among women increased twice as quickly compared to men.
In 2016, OWH developed a CDC grand rounds session for health care professionals to explore how women’s unique biology and sociology influence their susceptibility to opioid misuse. In addition to the earlier White Paper: Opioid Use, Misuse, and Overdose in Women and the dialogue during the national and regional opioid meetings, this new HHS OWH report serves as a stepping-off point for further research on opioids and women. OWH’s work supports more robust prevention for all women affected by the opioid epidemic.
Read the full report at https://www.womenshealth.gov/files/documents/final-report-opioid-508.pdf.