Women Suffer, Too –
MAY 25, 2019 – Her addiction started after major surgery. Wolfe said she had undergone gastric bypass surgery and was told a small amount of alcohol could really affect her body.During her darkest times, Wolfe said she would hide alcohol in water bottles and try to hide her addiction from her family, but they were on to her. For Pamela Aguilu, the drug of choice was prescription pain pills. She got access through them legally, through her doctors after spinal surgeries. She said initially it had helped with her pain. “I would say I got addicted right away. I was taking massive amounts of oxycodone,” said Aguilu. Both women say their addictions destroyed relationships and their own families. It destroyed trust between them and their children and took over their lives. For both Wolfe and Aguilu, the out of control addiction started later in life. “I did not start drinking until I was 47,” said Wolfe. Both women are also part of a dangerous trend being tracked by the CDC right now. Studies show the fastest growing segment of addicts in the country is middle-aged women, most of whom are mothers. “Soccer moms become addicts. Soccer moms, moms that are engaged with their children — we are just as liable to become an addict as anybody else,” said Aguilu. Researchers call it an “evolving epidemic.” The number of overdose deaths in this population has increased by 260 percent since 1999. Wolfe said she was surprised she is alive today. “Very surprised. There are times I should’ve been dead. My blood alcohol was so high– like 0.56. That can cause strokes, that causes your heart to stop,” said Wolfe. Aguilu was also grateful not to become a statistic. She said her rock bottom hit when her landlord called the cops on her for making too much noise. She found herself facing a female police officer who had broken into her home and was asking her if she was okay. “The last thing I remember is the ER physician saying we need the Narcan now and then I was out. I was out for two days,” said Aguilu. The big question researchers are still trying to answer: why middle-aged women? Women seeking help for addiction in their 40’s and 50’s are finally acknowledging the anxiety and depression that they have buried for years. “You hit middle-age, and you think you’ve got it all figured out, we live in a society where we take pills for everything,” said Aguilu. Both she and Wolfe wanted other women to know that there was hope.