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Prescription drug overdoses increase in women

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More women than men in are country are dying because of prescription drug overdoses. But on both state and local levels, doctors and pharmacists are trying to change this.

Despite efforts to stop it, the center for disease control says the percentage of women who have died because of overdosing on painkillers has increased nearly 400 percent in the past 15 years.

It's a trend pharmacists and doctors say they see growing because more of these drugs are making their way to the streets.

"The demand is high. They're relatively low cost depending on which one you're talking about. So, they're very prominent these days," said Jarrod Hayes, a Pharmacist at South Park Pharmacy in Amarillo.

But for those taking the prescription painkillers, especially women, If not done properly, or in the right dose, repercussions can be deadly.

"Women, they can't process the amount of drugs. Their liver's are smaller, their kidney's are smaller and that's how most of these drugs are eliminated," said Doctor Brian Eades. "Therefore a dose that a guy may take may not have any kind of lethal but consequences whereas it may be fore sure a respiratory suppression for a woman at the same dose," he added.

Although drug overdoses continue to be a problem, the state of Texas and many local pharmacies are working to combat this issue.

"Texas, as opposed to other states like New Mexico, or Oklahoma, or Florida, have been really more aggressive in regulating pain management clinics. They have to be registered in the state," Eades said.

In our area, local pharmacies, like South Park, do their best to monitor and report any suspicious prescriptions.

"If something doesn't look right, we would call the doctor and just verify that. Usually if we have a suspicious that something's not right, usually it's not," Hayes said.

Despite all of these efforts by doctors and pharmacist, the problem still continues because painkillers can be found and bought on the street, contributing to the increasing amount of overdoses.

Colleen Nelson, NewsChannel 10.

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