According to The Waismann Method Opiate Dependency Survey, the percentage of female patients seeking treatment for opiates, which includes Vicodin ®, OxyContin ®, Lortab ®, Norco ®, Percocet ® and Suboxone ®, rose 12 percent in the past year. Seventy percent of female respondents confirmed that their dependencies began after taking legitimate doctor-prescribed medication. Oxycontin ® and Vicodin ® remained the most commonly abused opiates for the third year in a row and Suboxone dependency is also on the rise, according to Dr. Michael H. Lowenstein, MD, medical director for Anesthesia Assisted Medical Opiate Detoxification Inc. (A.A.M.O.D.) and practitioner of the Waismann Method.
“We are seeing an increase in female patients seeking treatment for dependency to painkillers, and our statistics show these patients are wives and mothers that unwittingly developed a physical dependency to painkillers after seeking assistance from their doctors for pain. “The increase doesn’t come as a surprise as these potent pills are prescribed for anything from back pain to migraines headaches. In these cases, the prescribing physicians need to educate patients about the dangers of opiate dependence. In turn, patients need to ask themselves if their pain warrants the use of prescription medication or if an over-the-counter pill would provide adequate relief.
”Because their dependencies are often a physical reaction to the prolonged use of opiates, a medical treatment that is going to remove that reliance and allow them to begin anew without opiates in their system is an appropriate last step.
“Anesthesia-assisted detoxification cleanses the opiates from the body and reduces the cravings, allowing these women to return to their normal lives in a short time,” he said.
Additional findings of The Waismann Method Opiate Dependency Survey include:
- An overwhelming number of women, at 92 percent, said that the directions for taking the opiates were clear and easy to understand, but only 38 percent indicated that their doctors enforced those directions.
- Fifty-five percent of women who answered the survey received prescriptions from only one doctor, while 31 percent sought treatment from multiple doctors.
- For 50 percent of female respondents, withdrawal symptoms were the number one reason they were not able to stop taking the drug without help.
- Thirty-one percent of women obtained prescription medication by ordering over the Internet.
- Of female respondents, 52 percent were married at the time of treatment, and 64 percent had children.