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Dramatic Increase In Women Overdosing On ‘Legal’ Drugs

(credit:  Darren McCollester/Getty Images)

(credit: Darren McCollester/Getty Images)

(Dr. Brian McDonough) Dr. Brian McDonough
Dr. Brian McDonough has been medical editor at KYW Newsradio for more...
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By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - This is the latest of a growing number of studies that show more and more people are addicted to what are considered ‘legal’ drugs.

To give you an idea of the numbers – the use and abuse of prescription opioids has increased from 174 million in 2000 to 257 million in 2009. Over that time period, the increase in opioid overdose deaths among women was more than 400 percent. Men had an increase of 265 percent.

Another way of looking at it is that in the past six years more women have died from opioid pain reliever overdoses than from motor vehicle-related injuries.