By: JanOne Team - - January 15, 2020
There’s no question that the opioid epidemic is running rampant and has to be stopped. There are many layers to this crisis; many of which leave people unable to fully comprehend its seriousness. In order to eradicate opioid misuse and the stigma surrounding drug addiction, we must do our part to raise awareness and present facts about how people become addicted, why they become addicted, and how addiction impacts them mentally, emotionally and physically.
Opioid addiction can happen to anyone—teens, college students, pregnant women, husbands and grandparents—and doesn’t impact everyone the same. In fact, research has shown the myriad ways that opioid addiction differentiates between men and women.
The Differences in Opioid Addiction Between Men and Women
Opioids such as hydrocodone, oxycodone, fentanyl, codeine and heroin affect men and women’s bodies differently. The levels of certain brain chemicals usually differ between the sexes, and hormones can cause significant changes as well.
These serious statistics continually change as the opioid epidemic grows in force. For example, even though there are more men who abuse opioids than women, there is an alarming trend of opioid use disorder (OUD) in women. The number of men who fatally overdosed between 1999 and 2016 increased by 312%; in comparison, women saw an increase in opioid-related deaths of almost 600% (596%). In other words, far more women are overdosing from OUD than ever before.
Why Women Have Increased Opioid Addiction Risks
Why are women at a higher risk of dependence, addiction, relapse and overdose on opioids than men? A major reason is simply because they receive more prescriptions for these drugs. In fact, women are twice as likely to receive a prescription for opioid painkillers than men. They also generally take pain medications for longer durations. Hydrocodone and oxycodone, which are often prescribed to women, are highly addictive and put women at a serious risk of developing OUD.
Women are also more likely to suffer chronic pain disorders than men, including migraine headaches, fibromyalgia and arthritis. In addition, many women receive a prescription for an opioid painkiller following a Cesarean section, a major surgery that men biologically will never experience.
Some research also suggests that women experience pain more intensely than men. Also, female sex hormones such as progesterone can intensify the effects of opioids on the body. For example, a woman’s brain reacts to dopamine more quickly and more intensely, creating increased feelings of euphoria that can be hard to resist.
The cycle of addiction can start rather innocently in women who have suffered physical or emotional abuse in the past, which often leads to depression. If a doctor prescribes an opioid for chronic pain to a woman also suffering from depression, it will render a dopamine-related high that eases emotional suffering. Once the physical pain goes away, women may continue to look for ways to obtain more oxycodone or fentanyl to soothe the emotional pain.
What Addiction Differences Mean for Doctors, Patients and Family Members
Doctors should re-evaluate the way that they prescribe opioids and what they consider “normal” treatment periods for women. Understanding that women are more susceptible to opioid dependence means that physicians should be especially careful with follow-up visits and addiction warning signs after surgeries and childbirth.
Patients can take steps to protect themselves from opioid dependence by opting for alternative treatment wherever possible. In cases of long-term pain, many experts recommend steering clear of opioid pain medications entirely, even if it means dealing with some discomfort.
Avoid making comparisons between the patient and other people who have successfully overcome opioid use disorder. A big part of giving women the help they need to succeed is by providing much-needed emotional support. In fact, guilt can have the opposite effect on many women, driving them further into addiction and secrecy. Understand that men who use opioids may crave the drugs far less than women. This is due to hormonal differences, not a personality failing.
Women trying to recover from opioid addiction need to keep in mind:
September 19, 2019
JanOne sees every day as an opportunity for fresh ideas to end the opioid epidemic, the worst drug crisis in our nation’s history.
As a NASDAQ-listed company, JanOne draws private-sector resources into this urgent fight. We seek innovative treatments—focusing on developing revolutionary, non-addictive drugs that kill pain, not people.
January 16, 2020
January 15, 2020
January 7, 2020
🚨JanOne is one step closer to finding a solution to non-addictive pain relief with the appointment of Dr. Christopher Kevil, Ph.D., to its scientific advisory board.
#JanOneSolution #KillPainNotPeople https://janone.com/leading-cardiovascular-researcher-and-pad-treatment-pioneer-dr-christopher-kevil-to-chair-janone-scientific-advisory-board/
💊Roughly 21 to 29% of patients prescribed #Opioids for chronic pain misuse them;
💊Between 8 and 12% develop an opioid use disorder;
➡️Learn more information on how #JanOne is working solutions to the opioid crisis: https://soo.nr/q6xn
Did you know?
• #Opioid painkillers such as oxycodone, hydrocodone & codeine have a stronger effect on women than on men?
• Women are more likely to develop an opioid addiction, and they also have a higher risk of relapse. #WomensHealth #JanOne