McMaster University via EurekAlert:
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Hamilton, ON (Nov. 9, 2015) – Painkillers prescribed by doctors are the starting point for an opioid addiction for more than half of female methadone clinic patients, and they need different treatment from men with addiction, says a study led by McMaster University researchers.
The results, published in the open access journal Biology of Sex Differences today, show that more than half (52%) of women and a third (38%) of men reported doctor-prescribed painkillers as their first contact with opioid drugs, a family of drugs which include prescription medicines such OxyContin and codeine, as well as illicit drugs such as heroin.
The study of 503 patients attending Ontario methadone clinics identified significant gender differences between the men and women attending the clinics. Compared to men, women were found to have more physical and psychological health problems, more childcare responsibilities, and were more likely to have a family history of psychiatric illness.