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Examining The Rise Of Prescription Painkiller Abuse

Pete Springer/OPB

The latest numbers released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that more men than women die from painkiller overdose, but the number of women who have died increased by 400 percent in the last decade. 

Women are more likely than men to be prescribed pain medication because they often have lower pain thresholds and deal with conditions that are unique to or more common in women (such as fibromyalgia and migraines).

In 2011, a web-based data system called Oregon Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) was created to assist physicians and pharmacists with responsible prescribing and dispensing of controlled substances. However, Oregon still has the second highest rate of prescription painkiller abuse in the country.

Do you have experience with prescription drug addiction? What do you think people need to know about this issue?


  • Dr. Roger Chou, M.D.: Associate Professor of Medicine at OHSU
  • Dan Mark: Recovering from addiction to prescription painkillers
  • Faith*: Recovering from addiction to prescription painkillers

*Not her real name

addiction prescription drugs women

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