Women and the opioid crisis: historical context and public health solutions

Given the penetration of opioid misuse and addiction across all income and insurance strata, any provider who cares for women needs to be prepared to assess and evaluate opioid use, misuse, and addiction. Although responsible opioid prescribing is essential, treatment capacity must be expanded and be inclusive of the unique needs of women.

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Volume 108, Issue 2, Pages 195–199

Authors:

Mishka Terplan, M.D., M.P.H.

Abstract:

Driven by a legitimate but overly opioid-focused response to pain, the United States is currently experiencing an opioid crisis, a crisis with parallels to the first opioid epidemic at the turn of the 20th century. Women, particularly white reproductive-age women, are increasingly the face of the opioid crisis. Given the penetration of opioid misuse and addiction across all income and insurance strata, any provider who cares for women needs to be prepared to assess and evaluate opioid use, misuse, and addiction. Although responsible opioid prescribing is essential, treatment capacity must be expanded and be inclusive of the unique needs of women. However, the public and public health response to the opioid crisis must include rolling back the war on drugs. The continued criminalization of the public health issue of drug use and the medical condition of addiction is unethical, ineffective, and inhumane.


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Fertility and Sterility

Editorial Office, American Society for Reproductive Medicine

Fertility and Sterility® is an international journal for obstetricians, gynecologists, reproductive endocrinologists, urologists, basic scientists and others who treat and investigate problems of infertility and human reproductive disorders. The journal publishes juried original scientific articles in clinical and laboratory research relevant to reproductive endocrinology, urology, andrology, physiology, immunology, genetics, contraception, and menopause. Fertility and Sterility® encourages and supports meaningful basic and clinical research, and facilitates and promotes excellence in professional education, in the field of reproductive medicine.

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