It’s Time to Talk About the Opioid Crisis as a Women’s Health Issue

Automatic TRANSCRIPT

United States battle with the opioid crisis continues more than one, hundred people still die of an opioid. Overdose every day in this country but new research, and reporting says, there's an important piece of the puzzle that addiction experts and policymakers. Have overlooked gender differences in opioid use, and addiction Aaron shoemaker is a senior enterprise reporter at huffpost. Covering the opioid crisis so more women are being prescribed opioids in a medical setting and that's a little, different than men men are also prescribed opioids in a medical setting but for women it's? Very common for that to be the entry point for addiction and then once they have opioid addiction we don't have very. Good women's specific mechanisms for treating them a lot of our treatment mechanisms have. Been designed for men and men's needs it just out of curiosity was there any demographic breakdown of the types of women that were studied for this report so this was more of. A summation of different pieces, of literature that these To yell researchers had gone through and they. Are both part of a center at Yale that, specifically, looks at disparities and women's health so they. Have over sort of all sorts of different avenues of medicine looked at ways in which women are overlooked but no it wasn't specifically broken. Out by age or race or, different demographics like that so let's talk about how different genders react to pain, and to opioids are there differences in. Our biological makeup in terms of how we men and women react to. This drug so there's some evidence that women are more susceptible, to pain stimuli to begin with but. They're also more likely to have touch points with, the medical system, so because women are involved a lot of times with child care. And child rearing like that's a situation, in which you're having touch points with the medical community and. Every time you have a touch point you're more likely to have medical interventions which can be a good, thing but also means that you are more likely to get prescriptions and in this case? That could be in prescription opioids women are also more likely to be chronic Pain patients than men are so you know. Headaches backaches, things like that which are also conditions that opioids are not particularly effective for. Despite that there's this sort of secondary problem which is that a lot. Of women feel that their pain is not being addressed so not only are we over prescribing women opioids? For conditions that opioids are not really an effective treatment for but on the flip, side that pain is still there these women are not even getting sufficient. They feel medical attention paid to the conditions that they have now what happens to women who are trying to fight an addiction are they treated the same as. Men who were fighting opioid addiction historically the, treatments that we have for addiction have, been more setup for men's needs, women traditionally tend to be at least culturally speaking caregivers in. Our society and so for women childcare is a, huge, huge piece of the puzzle if you have A woman who's trying to seek consistent addiction treatment and maybe that for her means going daily to methadone clinic if. There's not some, sort, of, avenue and support, for her to get care for her kids while she goes every single, day to get that treatment it's, going to be impossible for her to adhere to it what's the impact or what. Could the long term impact be if this, isn't addressed accurately dangerous insufficient treatment of of women when it comes. To opioid addiction I think, insufficient recognition of places in. Which we could stop women from becoming. Addicted in the first place and given that women are fifty. Percent, of the population and that's a large cohort of people that, we are sort of ignoring and under treating areas shoemaker is senior? Enterprise, reporter at huffpost covering the opioid crisis Aaron thank you thank you so much. For having me and check out our series on women's health from earlier..

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