According to a new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more women in the U.S. are dying from overdoses of pain pills than from cervical cancer or murder.

The women most affected by pain pill addiction and overdose are middle-aged white females.

These addictive pain pills are opiads such as OxyContin, Vicodin and Percocet, which are all legal prescriptions, not street drugs, which probably accounts for the older white female demographic.

Some single mothers say they feel overwhelmed by responsibilities and like the relaxation caused by pain pills, while other women say they that using drugs made them feel pretty, strong and productive, noted the New York Times.

According to the CDC report, women in their 20s and 30s have the highest rates of pain pill abuse, but the overdose death rate was highest among women ages 45 to 54, who are likely taking the pills for chronic pain, such as fibromyalgia.

The report says that women are more likely than men to be prescribed pain drugs, use them often and get prescriptions for higher doses for pain.

Women have a smaller body mass than men, which makes death by overdose more likely.

Also women are more likely to be given anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medications, which can be a deadly combo.

Prescription medications do not put people in danger of serving decades of prison time under U.S. drug laws, so in that way, they are a safer route than illegal drugs, but can still have devastating results.

Source: New York Times