Opioid Use and Addiction in Women
The enduring opioid crisis in our nation was sparked by widespread prescribing of opioid drugs. Women were more likely than men to receive prescriptions for these drugs, even when national samples of both women and men with pain were compared. As a consequence, prescription opioids became a major pathway to misuse and addiction for women.
A review of what was known about opioid exposure and use in women and men was needed with recommendations for gender-based treatment and preventative interventions.
Carolyn M. Mazure, PhD, Norma Weinberg Spungen and Joan Lebson Bildner Professor in Women’s Health Research in collaboration with Teddy G. Goetz, MD, Columbia University, and Jill B. Becker, PhD, University of Michigan provided this information in Women, opioid use and addiction, published in the February 2021 issue of The Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology.
We need to intentionally consider the health of all women and incorporate the spectrum of sex and gender differences in our population to best serve the public health and derive better health outcomes.