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Continued: Overdose deaths rising fastest among middle-aged US women; 'Rates we've never seen before'

  • Article by: MIKE STOBBE , AP Medical Writer
  • Last update: July 2, 2013 - 3:55 PM

It's an age group in which more women are dealing with chronic pain and seeking help for it, some experts suggested.

Many of these women probably were introduced to painkillers through a doctor's prescriptions for real pain, such as persistent aches in the lower back or other parts of the body. Then some no doubt became addicted, said Dr. Andrew Kolodny, a psychiatrist who specializes in addiction at Maimonides Medical Center in New York City.

There aren't "two distinct populations of people being helped by opioid painkillers and addicts being harmed. There's overlap," said Kolodny, president of a 700-member organization Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing.

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