Did you know that one in four women takes medication for their mental health?
Women are more likely to take prescription medication for problems like anxiety or depression. Antidepressant use has gone up 29 percent since 2001 for women. Over time men are more likely to abuse drugs like opioids, but it seems that prescription drugs are killing more women.
More women are dying each year, and the number of men dying has increased but not at the same rate.
Why Is This Happening?
As with anything like this, many factors must be taken into account. Healthcare is used differently by men and women. There are also different practicing for prescribing when it comes to men and women. Women see a doctor more than men do and are more likely to report having chronic pain and receiving medication for it.
Of course, more access to pain medication doesn’t mean that’s why women are more likely to abuse it. But it is crucial of course to have better monitoring of patients when it comes to prescription drugs like opioids.
Women should try to follow their doctor’s instructions when it comes to taking pain medications. This can lessen their chance of developing an addiction.
What Are Signs And Symptoms Of Prescription Drug Abuse?
Prescription drugs are medications that have to be prescribed by a doctor to access. Three types are most likely to be abused. These types include:
- Stimulants: usually prescribed for attention deficit disorder
- Opiates: generally prescribed to treat chronic or severe pain
- Tranquilizers/sedatives: meant for anxiety or sleep-related issues
The early warning signs usually involve behavior that is drug seeking. This includes:
- Frequent requests that medications be refilled even quicker than they should be
- Often “losing” their prescriptions
- Crushing or breaking up of their pills to take
- Stealing or borrowing medications from others including friends and family
- Using their prescription medications too fast
- Going to see multiple doctors for the same issue to get more medications
- Having different answers to questions that don’t make sense
- Trying to order prescription medications over the internet
Other signs of a progressive prescription drug abuse problem:
- Mood swings that relate to whether they have their prescription drugs or not
- Sleep pattern changes
- Increased irritability
- Consuming alcohol more frequently
What Are The Effects Of Prescription Drug Abuse?
People often use these drugs to deal with a problem. That could be chronic pain, depression, anxiety or something more. Instead of helping these problems abusing the drugs can end up making them worse. Over time they can negatively affect the body and mind.
This can mean that their work or relationships are affected and it can ruin their lives. Of course, this is similar to all drug abuse. When it comes to women though, it can change how they handle certain life responsibilities or manage their children.